Liberal Budget an Unaffordable Shell Game

April 23, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario Government presented the 2015 Ontario Budget today.

“The Liberal Government is trying to bamboozle Ontarians in order to hide their continued mismanagement of the Province’s finances” said MPP Jim McDonell. “They promised the same amount of infrastructure money in 2014, however they expected to only need to raise $3.1 billion from asset sales at the time. Today, instead, they say they need to sell off Hydro One, the LCBO and OPG headquarters and other public assets in order to generate the required funding”.

The Ontario PC Caucus presented five requests to the Liberal Government to be included in the Budget.

“The Liberals rejected all five” MPP McDonell stated. “We asked for radical improvements to home care, but current funding for home care won’t cover demand growth and the Government is creating more layers of administration rather than investing in maximizing client services. We demanded a commitment to affordable hydro rates, but the Liberals are instead driving rates up. We asked the Liberals to scrap the planned Ontario Retirement Pension Plan and carbon tax, which would make Ontarians poorer by driving down wages and employment while increasing the price of basic goods. Instead, the Liberal Budget commits the Government to these job-killing policies. We asked for a credible plan to reduce the deficit, however all we see in this Budget is more spending and more taxes. We won’t support it”.

MPP McDonell is also concerned about potential upcoming cuts to social assistance, seniors services, health and municipalities.

“The planned 1% increase in social assistance rates won’t even cover inflation. The Government’s plans to review the Assistive Device Program and the Ontario Drug Benefit will have to result in significant cuts to eligibility for these programs. Ontario Municipal Partnership Funding is expected to decrease significantly, leaving municipalities less able to provide essential services to their residents, including social assistance. This Budget impoverishes residents of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry”.

Interest payments on Ontario’s debt will grow from 10.7 to 11.4 billion dollars this year. This has a direct impact on the Province’s ability to provide services to residents.

“Thankfully, the federal government increased the provincial health transfer by $652 million, as the Liberals cut $54 million from their contribution to their health budget” MPP McDonell stated. “Meanwhile, the cost of paying interest on Ontario’s debt is going up by 6.5% in one year. Obviously, Liberal debt and interest are eating away at key programs such as healthcare.”