Fall Economic Statement Delivers No Path Out of Debt

November 17, 2014

QUEEN’S PARK – Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered the Fall Economic Statement today in the Legislature outlining the Government’s spending programs and decreasing tax revenue.

 

“The Liberal Government continues to spend beyond its means without regard to the increasing debt load that is affecting Ontario’s economy” – said MPP Jim McDonell. “Many stakeholders such as the Bank of Canada, the Conference Board of Canada and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are highlighting that the Government’s current economic path is not sustainable. We are paying $11 billion in interest every year and these payments put significant pressure on public services. This can’t continue.”

 

A report recently issued by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce report states that future generations will have to either pay much more to maintain the diversity and quality of services that have benefited current and previous generations, or enjoy less access to and lower quality public services. “Locally this means cuts to home care and nurses, as pointed out by the President the Ontario Nurses Association” – MPP McDonell added.

 

Sousa also reaffirmed the Liberal Government’s commitment to a mandatory Ontario Retirement Pension Plan and demanded federal budget surplus funds be given to Ontario.

 

“Ontarians would have a better and more dignified retirement if the Liberals stopped artificially inflating hydro rates and under-funding home care” – MPP Jim McDonell retorted. “Many residents of SDSG are finding life increasingly unaffordable because of the rising cost of living caused by a decade of failed Liberal policies. Instead of digging us deeper into debt, the Government should take bold steps to contain the growth of Ontario’s public sector, reduce the regulatory and fiscal burden on businesses and tackle such failed policy experiments as the Green Energy Act and the College of Trades that drive people into poverty and shut young Ontarians out of jobs.”

 

The Government’s projected tax revenue for the fiscal year is $509 million lower than predicted in the Budget just four months ago.  Minister Sousa blamed the Federal Government for cutting transfer payments, however, the 2014 Public Accounts revealed that total transfers are actually up $616 million from the year before.

 

“It’s time to stop blaming everyone else and start setting priorities,” said MPP McDonell.  “The Liberals did not design their policies to decrease their tax income: lower tax take is a symptom of economic difficulties that the Government is ignoring at their own peril.  It is time for them to realize you can’t spend your way to prosperity – it takes bold decisions and sound economic policy which this Fall Economic Statement lacks.”