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Ontario’s proposed budget freezes, caps, changes and cuts

The Ontario government will look to concessions on wages to meet deficit-reduction targets with the budget proposed Tuesday. It will also hope Ontarians will continue drinking and gambling to raise funds through the LCBO and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
The government states the “budget includes a deficit elimination plan that reduces program spending growth and contains costs by $17.7 billion over the next three years, while increasing revenues by $4.4 billion without raising taxes.”
“We’ve seen tax increases from this government once again,” said Todd Smith, Prince Edward Hastings MPP. “A Car Tax on license plate renewals, a Small Business tax increase for local small businesses. The Premier cannot get it through his head that he has a spending problem not a revenue problem. Ontarians have paid more than their fair share for Dalton McGuinty’s mistakes and mismanagement. It’s time the pain made it to the Premier’s office.”
“This is serious action for a serious time and puts Ontario on track to eliminate the deficit by 2017-18,” Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said. “More than 50 cents of every dollar spent by the Ontario government pays for the compensation of teachers, doctors and others in the broader public sector. Given the serious fiscal challenge the province is facing, compensation costs must be managed if the government is to meet its fiscal targets and protect the gains made over the past eight years in education and health care.”
“The finance minister based his budget on growth targets that his own
economist told him were unrealistic,” said Smith. “He’s increasing spending in 14 of 24 departments and he’s promising to stand up to public sector unions when he never has before. There is no jobs plan. There are 600,000 Ontarians out of work and what was this Premier’s response? Tax employers, tax small businesses and drive up the debt over 250 billion dollars. That’s not a jobs plan, unless your plan is to kill more jobs.”

Some provincial budget highlights include:
– A two-year freeze of public sector employee wages – including teachers, doctors and executives;
-Capping the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit at 3,000 kWh per month
-Changing the Ontario Drug Benefit program so that about five per cent of seniors — those with the highest incomes — pay a larger share of their prescription drug costs
-Ensuring Ontario user fees recover more of the cost of providing programs and services
– Extending the pay freeze for MPPs for another two years — for a total of five years
-Extending the pay freeze for executives at hospitals, universities, colleges, school boards and agencies for another two years.
-closing underutilized schools and consolidating school boards
-cancelling four hospital building projects – three rural and one in Toronto
-reduce income stability funding to farmers by $20-million a year
-cut overtime in the OPP and jails
-cut nearly 1,000 full-time government jobs

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  1. Mark says:

    Two Points;

    What Drummond did determine is that the GEA was a significant contributing factor in the escalating cost of energy.

    Why can’t the 2 year freeze on public sector wages be extended to Municipal workers as well. There are some significant salaries there as we well know and if everyone is to share in the pain of restraint it would be a good and proper place to include in this strategy. Those salaries are paid by public tax dollars as well.

  2. John Thompson says:

    To answer your question Doris, it it probaly because cancelling the GEA would cause more problems and costs going forward. Not everyone gets it, but it seems that Drummond did.

  3. Doris Lane says:

    Why didn’t dalton kill the IWT program and save the province millions of dollars

  4. Gary Mooney says:

    One item not mentioned above is that Ontario will cut back on social assistance improvements for a year:
    * zero increase for Ontario Works.
    * zero increase for Ontario Disability Support.
    * half of the planned increased in the child benefit.

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