Eli Ridder | Report
In an economic statement given on Thursday, the Ontario government announced a new tax credit for those earning less than $30,000 a year and will wipe rent control from new units, among other cuts.
Premier Doug Ford tweeted that “Our Plan For The People will put more money in people’s pockets, while getting our province’s finances back on track” with an image of the party announcing the new legislation.
The cuts laid out in the government’s Fall Economic Statement for 2018-2019 will decrease the province’s $15 billion deficit by $500 million, with the Progressive Conservatives promising the books would be balanced.
The Tories concluded earlier this year that they were left with the multi-billion-dollar deficit by the former government, a figure disputed by critics that say it includes money promised but cancelled by the current regime.
Finance Minister Victor Fedeli took aim at the criticism, with media reporting that he called it “a real deficit”, saying a challenge lay ahead for the province that would include requiring everyone to make “sacrifices”.
Mr. Fedeli said the government has saved $3.2 billion by the cuts, but the deficit is only a half billion smaller due to a drop in revenue after cancelling cap-and-trade, worth $1.5 billion, and $308 billion worth in tax increases.
The primary developments from the economic statement:
- Eliminating provincial income tax for those that earn less than $30,000 a year, up to $850 in savings for low-income earners.
- As part of its newly announced “Housing Supply Action Plan,” Ontario is proposing a strategy to increase the province’s rental housing supply through measures intended to bolster new development while protecting rent control for existing tenants.
- Hours for alcohol sales will be extended at the Beer Store, LCBO and grocery stores from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
- Plan without a timeline is in place to bring beer and wine in corner stores.
- Cuts positions of environmental commissioner, French language services commissioner, and provincial advocate for children and youth, with the files taken over by the ombudsman.
- Province will give Toronto $25 million over four years to fight guns and gangs.
- Maintains a public service hiring freeze.
- Ends taxpayer subsidies provided to political parties in Ontario.
Image of Doug Ford from previous files.