Saturday, May 30th13.8°C
26426

Taxpayers' lobby wants $13B in spending cuts to balance Ontario books in 2014

TORONTO - The Canadian Taxpayers Federation urged the Ontario government Monday to slash $13 billion in spending to balance the books in 2014 and start paying down some of the province's record debt.

Ontario's debt doubled under 10 years of Liberal rule to $272.8 billion, which cost $10.6 billion this year just to pay the interest, said CTF director Candice Malcolm.

"There are real consequences to carrying this much debt," she said. "This is the third largest, and fastest growing expenditure in our budget."

The government can't afford to keep shelling out more in interest charges without actually making payments to lower the debt, added Malcolm.

"This is just a small part of the debt that we owe, which also includes federal debt and most of us owe municipal debt plus any personal debt," she said. "When you look at the larger debt component, for people in Ontario it's quite scary."

The government could save $2.7 billion by ending "corporate welfare" — grants to businesses — and could save even more by killing the full-day kindergarten program for four- and five-year-olds, said Malcolm.

"We call on the government to scrap dumb policies like the $1.5-billion full-day kindergarten program, which was hastily introduced ... against the advice of child development doctors," she said.

"There are unfortunately no shortage of dumb policies here in Ontario."

The taxpayers' lobby also wants the government to end the 10 per cent rebate on electricity bills, which cost $1 billion a year, and to kill the 30 per cent tuition discount for most college and university students. It also wants the controversial Green Energy Act repealed and the Liquor Control Board privatized.

The Progressive Conservatives applauded the CTF for focusing on the need to eliminate the deficit as quickly as possible.

"Finally we have people standing up and joining our party, quite frankly, in pitching a balanced budget," said PC finance critic Vic Fedeli.

"Certainly the government has no intention to balance as we saw in the fall economic statement when they talked about going on a spending spree."

The Liberals signalled last fall that they would try to stick to their deficit reduction schedule, but said they would not stop spending on new programs to get the economy back on track.

The cuts the CTF is proposing would be more than enough to eliminate Ontario's projected deficit of $11.7 billion, and leave some to make a payment to lower the actual debt, added Malcolm.

However, Finance Minister Charles Sousa says "zero deficits mean nothing if we have zero jobs and zero growth," and the Liberals remain on track to balance the books by 2017-18.

But the Conservatives said it's the debt and deficit that is hurting businesses today.

"Companies like to locate where there's good management and they are leaving Ontario," said Fedeli, pointing to recent plant closures announced by Kelloggs, Heinz and Caterpillar.

"They're still making cereal, they're still making ketchup, they're still making earth-moving equipment," said Fedeli. "They're just not making them in Ontario any more."

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

26416


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15014.09-92.89
S&P CDNX692.45+0.29
DJIA18010.68-115.44
Nasdaq5070.03-27.95
S&P 5002107.39-13.40
CDN Dollar0.8029-0.0017
Gold1204.30+1.50
Oil60.86+2.49
Lumber273.40+0.90
Natural Gas2.83+0.01

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.14+0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.46-0.02
Cantex0.03+0.00
Anavex Life Sciences0.40+0.00
Metalex Ventures0.07-0.01
Russel Metals25.07-0.13
Copper Mountain Mining1.27-0.03
Colorado Resources0.10+0.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.022+0.009
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.16+0.01
Decisive Dividend Corporation2.28+0.18

 



26361

FEATURED Property
2072906454 Cavell Place
4 bedrooms 4 baths
$1,349,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Yard sale pricing

Photo: Thinkstock.comI have deliberately abridged this household tips article to illustrate pricing strategies. "Tips For Pricing Yard Sale Items” was written by Lynnette Walczak, and publi...


What's a robo-advisor?

Photo: ContributedIt can only be attributable to human error. -Hal, 2001: A Space Odyssey For most of us who are within thinking distance of retirement, the term “robo” conjures up image...


Cash stressed seniors

Photo: Thinkstock.comFor many Canadian homeowners, their house represents the biggest portion of their net worth. Now, increasing numbers of seniors are starting to recognize the hidden value of their...

_



25217

25482


Member of BC Press Council


25334