Liberals Have Grown Our Debt, Drained Our Wallets and Ignored Our Budget Asks

QUEEN’S PARK – The Liberal government is artificially balancing the budget with previously-announced cash-grabs and one-time revenue streams to try to curry favour with Ontarians ahead of the 2018 general election, says Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson.

“The Liberal government is trying to balance the budget by using money from its cap-and-trade scheme, increases to vehicle and driver registration fees, and the sale of Hydro One assets. Their spending in this budget has increased to a record of $141 billion—which is up over $6 billion from 2016. The Liberal government under Premier Wynne’s watch have not curbed their spending. As a result, the debt this year will climb to a staggering $312,” said Thompson.

Just to reach budget ‘balance’, the Liberals needed $1.8 billion from cap and trade, used $500 million in pension assets— despite the Auditor General’s advice not to, and included $1.5 billion in money from the federal transfer, $450 million from land transfer taxes, and $1 billion from the sale of Hydro One and other assets. That totals over $5 billion in one time and unusual revenues to reach budget balance.

“The government is recklessly gambling with the finances of our province. They’ve grown our debt, drained our wallets and spent billions of our dollars on their friends. They have no plan to help support sustained growth in rural Ontario, and ignored the PC’s four reasonable budget asks.”

In an Opposition Day Motion two weeks ago, the PCs asked for the following:

  • A long-term plan to get Ontario’s debt under control;
  • Take immediate steps to address the root of Ontario’s hydro crisis. These measures include: stop signing contracts for power we don’t need, dismantle the Green Energy Act, stop the fire sale of Hydro One, and rein in exorbitant executive compensation in the energy sector;
  • Solutions to addressing Ontario’s housing crisis, including evidence-based measures to address both supply and demand, the establishment of a panel of industry experts, and an immediate review of the government portfolio;
  • Immediately steps to make cap-and-trade revenue neutral, where any money generated is returned to hard-working Ontarians ; and
  • An immediate moratorium on school closures, and an immediate review of the flawed Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline that determines these closures.

“The Liberals are demonstrating once again that they’re only interested in what’s best for them. Ontarians need a government that acts in their best intersts. Instead, today we’ve witnessed Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government cook the books a year before the next election.”

To read the 2017 Budget, click here:


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