SDSG MPP Jim Mcdonell — News Release
CORNWALL — The government continues to make progress when it comes to restoring Ontario’s fiscal health. With the release of Ontario’s third quarter report, we now know that the deficit stands at $13.5 billion – a $1 billion improvement since our last update in November.
As you’ll recall, Ontario inherited a $15 billion deficit from the previous Liberal government. Through their reckless spending policies, they were spending $40 million more a day than they were bringing in – roughly $900 for every man, woman, and child.
Interest payments have now become the fourth largest line item in the budget. It’s a cause for concern because every dollar that goes to paying down the debt is one less dollar going to the vital public services we rely on, including healthcare and education.
In six short months, our government has managed to find $3.2 billion in savings across government, delivered $2.7 billion in tax relief to Ontario families, individuals, and businesses, and cancelled millions in planned tax hikes.
Our government continues to pursue an ‘Open for Business’ and ‘Open for Jobs’ approach. We are restoring business confidence by cutting taxes, lowering hydro rates, and reducing the mountain of regulations and red tape. Our plan is helping to foster new jobs and opportunities, so companies can compete and prosper, and the economy can grow.
Today’s third quarter report confirms we are on the right track and that our plan is indeed working. Our government’s decisive actions have led to a strong economic performance that has helped improve Ontario’s overall fiscal health.
At the same time, our government continues to make life easier for Ontarians. We introduced one of the most generous tax credits in a generation for low-income workers – the Low-income Individuals and Families Tax Credit. Those who earn nearly $30,000 will pay no personal Ontario income tax on their 2019 return. We eliminated the punishing cap-and-trade carbon tax, saving the average household $260 a year and 4.3 cents per litre at the gas pumps. We froze hunting and fishing licence fees, and families can fish for free on Family Day weekend.
All this said, we cannot rest on these accomplishments. A $13.5 billion deficit still leaves Ontario vulnerable to global headwinds and economic shocks. We must continue to drive efficiencies in government, make life more affordable, and grow our economy.
As our government develops the 2019 budget, we remain focused on putting Ontario back on a responsible, pragmatic path to balance and making our Province the best place for businesses to thrive, grow, and create good jobs.