Increased Taxes, Cuts to Services and More Debt
(December 8, 2014) Under this Liberal government our province's debt has doubled and it only keeps on growing. Ontario has accumulated more debt than all other provinces and the federal government combined. The Liberals may claim time and again that the economic outlook is improving, but Ontario's fiscal situation is worse now than it was 12 months ago.
As the economy continues to spiral, instead of fixing the problem and working to make the system better, the government carries on cutting services and increasing taxes.
This is not a responsible way to govern our province, and it is going to cost us a lot for generations to come. We are only beginning to see the impact of the last 11 years of the Liberal government's gross mismanagement.
Since 2003, revenues have increased in Ontario by $50 billion, and yet, the government continues to raise taxes. We all remember the health tax, the HST and increases to the price of hydro to name a few. They were among the largest tax increases in Ontario history. And now, the Wynne government wants to raise taxes again.
The 2014 Budget detailed a 148 percent increase on aviation fuel making Ontario's fuel tax rate one of the highest in North America and costing Ontario families an extra $50 to $200 to fly out of Ontario. Dr. Fred Lazar of the Schulich School of Business predicts the increase will result in the loss of 3,000 Ontario jobs.
The Fall Economic Statement, released in November, signaled more tax hikes as a means to balance the budget by 2017-18. Most recently, Environment Minister Glen Murray talked about the need for a carbon tax pledging his support for Quebec's cap-and-trade system that will cost Quebec motorists an extra 1.9 cents on each litre of gasoline, and even more if the price of carbon increases.
The Liberals have also introduced legislation to create a new Ontario pension plan, which will trigger a significant increase in payroll costs for businesses making it difficult to maintain and create jobs. Further increases to the price of electricity can also be expected. The list of job killing policies literally goes on and on and translates into job loss for many Ontarians. Case in point, General Motors' recent talk about moving 3,600 jobs out of Ontario to Lansing, Michigan.
By taking money out of the pockets of everyday people, such as job creators and businesses, the government is not going to stimulate economic investment and growth. In fact, it will do the opposite as we have witnessed with the accumulation of $150 billion of additional debt in a single decade.
Governments need to set priorities and spend within their means to ensure they can afford the things we all care about most, like healthcare and education. This government isn't doing that.
To make up for a decade of mismanagement, not only does the government expect Ontarians to pay more, but they have begun to make cuts to frontline services. We have seen cuts to physiotherapy, diabetic supplies and cataract and glaucoma surgeries. The Liberals recently announced $500 million in cuts to education. We also recently learned from the Nurses' Association that the government has cut 1,600 registered nursing positions.
The Bank of Canada, Conference Board of Canada and Ontario Chamber of Commerce have all provided evidence that the Government's path is unsustainable. It's time they listen.
Jim recently raised many of these examples in the Ontario Legislature. You can view his remarks at the following links,
JOB LOSS IN AUTO SECTOR - http://hansardindex.ontla.on.ca/hansardETITLE/41-1/L038-33.html#BeginOfTitle