Liberal government ignores call for fiscal restraint
(April 7, 2016) Yesterday, the Liberal government voted down an Ontario PC Caucus motion that would have resulted in an important step towards much-needed fiscal restraint in this province.
If passed, the motion would have called on the government to present a credible plan to balance the budget, and take immediate action to pay down the debt, while preserving the quality of education and health services in our province.
I have to say that while I was disgusted with the government's decision to vote down the motion, I wasn't surprised one little bit.
After all, this is a government that time and again has shown a complete lack of skill when it comes to fiscal management.
Voting down yesterday's motion is just further proof the Liberal government has no credible plan to balance the budget and pay down the debt.
Sadly, taxpayers will be forced to pay for the government's mistakes. And we'll continue to see services and programs suffer due to Liberal cuts.
This year alone we will pay almost $1-billion a month in interest on the debt. And anyone with a basic understanding of mathematics knows that means less money is available for things like health care, education and infrastructure.
Just think how that $1-billion could be used if it wasn't going towards debt servicing.
It could build a new hospital in both Alliston and Collingwood, as well as fund Matthews House Hospice in Alliston.
It could also cover 17,096 nursing home beds for one year, many of which are badly needed in Simcoe County.
It could cover a year's worth of salaries for 16,531 nurses.
It could provide 8,000 new affordable housing units.
It could purchase 7,564 snow plows.
You see, when we don't get our fiscal house in order, we sell our province short. If only the Liberals would grasp this basic tenet.
Budget 2016 was the ninth budget in a row the Liberals have tabled with a multi-billion dollar deficit, and for the first time in the history of this province our debt has passed $300-billion. That works out to $22,103 for every man, woman and child living in Ontario.
The province's own auditor-general has warned the Liberals that essential services are being crowded out by the cost of servicing the debt.
Still, the Liberals don't listen.
But the fact is until Ontario's poor financial state is properly addressed, the government will be forced to cut funding to health care, close schools, and raise hydro rates.
It's a dark time for our province.
My hope is that in 2018, Ontarians will give a strong mandate to the Progressive Conservative Party.
I promise you our party will govern responsibly.
So what does that mean, exactly?
Well for starters, we'll get the province's financial books in order. And we'll start investing in health care, education, infrastructure, and job creation.
A Progressive Conservative government will take steps to ensure that Ontario is once again a shining example of a well-run province.
Jim Wilson is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Simcoe-Grey.