McGuinty Budgeting for Trouble

April 24, 2012

The NDP hammered out an eleventh-hour deal with the governing Liberals to allow the McGuinty Government to pass the 2012 Budget. Jim McDonell, MPP was not surprised: “Both parties have an appetite for tax-and-spend policies and we can see it in the details of the deal that were made available. The additional $1 billion (estimate) of spending just confirms that the McGuinty government has a spending problem, not a revenue one. If Mrs Horwath stood for unemployed Ontarians, she would have made the same demands the PC Caucus made for months before the Budget: better jobs strategy, less red tape, policies aimed at making our province competitive”.

The deal includes a tax increase on high earners, transitional measures for the horse racing industry and a redistribution of funds from generic drugs and education to ODSP and Ontario Works. McDonell commented: “The NDP and Liberals are not interested in reforming the system that brought us into this financial mire. We’re staring at a $30 billion deficit and $411 billion net debt by 2017. That’s $30,000 for every man, woman and child in Ontario. McGuinty is borrowing today at a rate of $30,000 a minute. Neither the Liberals nor the NDP seem to realise the seriousness of the situation”.

The PC caucus examined the Budget prior to its tabling in the Legislature during a lock-up, and decided not to support it since none of the PC recommendations had been included or even considered. McDonell offered an alternative: “Ontarians have been robbed of an opportunity to put our house in order. McGuinty continues to spend, implement failed energy policies and destroy job opportunities in our Province. A PC Government would rein in spending, unleash the job-creating potential of our enterprises, open the trades for our young and scrap McGuinty’s pet FIT projects that are bankrupting Ontario’s households.”

Today’s vote approved the Liberal-NDP budget motion. Jim McDonell, MPP explains: “The motion is a statement that the House approves the Government’s reckless financial policy. The Budget Bill, also known as Bill 55, consists of the enacting clauses for the Budget and will be discussed and voted separately.”

Bill 55 contains 69 schedules that include new laws and amendments to existing Acts, is 327 pages long and weighs 2.5 pounds. It is likely to be amended following the Liberal-NDP deal, or re-tabled entirely.