Home FAQ Search Memberlist User Groups Register Login   

BloggingTories.ca Forum IndexBloggingTories.ca Forum Index
    Index     FAQ     Search     Register     Login         JOIN THE DISCUSSION - CLICK HERE      

*NEW* Login or register using your Facebook account.

Not a member? Join the fastest growing conservative community!
Membership is free and takes 15 seconds


CLICK HERE or use Facebook to login or register ----> Connect



Goto page 1, 2  Next  

Post new topic   Reply to topic Page 1 of 2
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: is Ontario's budget actually now balanced ? Reply with quote

( I agree with this mpp , Ontario's finances are in much worse shape than wynne is willing to admit publically . this budget is clearly a political document and they decided they had to go into an election year with a balanced budget even if the overall finances were still a mess ? Ontario's overall debt is still massive and government has not come out with any credible plan to address it )



Get ready for a fake budget balance from Wynne Liberals


Victor Fedeli, Special to the Toronto Sun

First posted: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 01:18 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 01:25 PM EDT



Thursday is budget day in Ontario, so be prepared for life to become even more unaffordable.

If you drive a car, go camping, hunting or fishing, or even hold a charity fundraiser, your fees are going up. And as revealed in Tuesday’s Toronto Sun, the Liberals are looking at even more ways to tax you, including raising the HST and cutting your services — like ending some coverage under OHIP!

With great fanfare, the government will announce a balanced budget. But this will be a false balance, an artificial balance, a fake balance — call it what you like. What it isn’t is real.

The financial accountability officer (FAO) has debunked the government’s assertion they are able to balance the budget without one-time extraordinary measures. He confirmed the government is indeed using one-time money from the sale of Hydro One, government buildings (such as the LCBO and OPG headquarters), contingency funds, and tax increases to try to balance the budget in an election year, while leaving significant structural deficits.

His later forecast stated “the outlook for the budget balance has deteriorated” and concluded “Ontario’s budget would be expected to remain in deficit over the next five years.”

So you’ve got the government saying one thing, and the FAO (and most financial professionals in Ontario) saying the complete opposite. Think of what this means. This is a sitting government using its bully pulpit to deliberately deceive Ontarians and distract from the misery they’ve created for families through their hydro and housing crises.

And, if you thought you couldn’t trust this government before, it gets worse. The FAO has warned of a “broader pattern” of secrecy and the government’s refusal to provide information, making it “difficult to assess the plausibility of the government’s financial projections.”

He also stated, “It is highly disappointing that instead of looking to maximize the information they can provide, the government is focusing on how it can restrict disclosure of information.”

It’s clear the government has lost its way and is looking for the path of least resistance to attempt to balance the budget, including taking more money out of your pockets and cutting services. They’re not upfront with you; after all, the taxes and cuts they were looking at were considered behind your back.

Simply put, they don’t have principles, and they don’t stand for anything other than making your life more unaffordable.

— Victor Fedeli is the MPP for Nipissing and the Progressive Conservative finance critic.


http://www.torontosun.com/2017.....e-liberals
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberals 'cooking the books' to balance budget: Brown

By Shawn Jeffords, Political Bureau Chief
First posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 08:15 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 08:31 PM EDT



brown
Tory leader Patrick Brown clashed with Finance Minister Charles Sousa in Question Period on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (TORONTO SUN/FILES)



Will Ontario’s budget be a “recipe for success” or a taste of financial disaster?

With the Liberals poised to unveil their budget Thursday, Progressive Conservatives were questioning the ingredients in Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s spending package.

Tory leader Patrick Brown clashed with the minister in Question Period Wednesday where he dubbed him “Chef Sousa” and accused the Mississauga MPP of “cooking the books” in order to balance this year’s budget ahead of the 2018 election.

“There are a lot of reasons Ontarians are led to believe this is a false balance,” Brown said. “It’s Chef Sousa cooking the books to look good in an election year.”

Brown accused the government of “electioneering” with the budget as Premier Kathleen Wynne’s approvals hover around 12% in the polls.

Sousa shot back that his budget will be a “recipe for success” for the province. He stressed, as he has in recent weeks, that the government will balance its budget as promised and hinted that spending will increase.

On Wednesday, the minister announced $200 million will be included in the budget to open up 24,000 more child care spaces across the province.

“We’re balancing the budget,” he said. “And because we’re balancing the budget we’re able to do a number of things. Ontarians, the people of Ontario, have worked hard to get through the recession and have maintained and struggled through the recovery. We’ve been very disciplined. We’ve taken a very balanced approach throughout as opposed to making across-the-board cuts.”

NDP deputy leader Jagmeet Singh said his party hopes it will see government commitments to stop the Hydro One sell-off and universal pharmacare in the budget. But what he expects the spending package will show is that the government doesn’t “understand the realities of the people” in the province.

“The government has had 14 years to make change,” he said. “They’ve had 14 years to address the problems that we’ve seen in this province and they’re now scrambling last minute to save their own political skin as opposed to really being concerned about the realities of life for Ontarians.”

http://www.torontosun.com/2017.....dget-brown
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( I think if politics don't work out for Sousa he has a career lined up in auto sales , if you believe what he's saying , there might be a " good deal " for you at the nearest used car lot , well its true there is no new tax hikes in this budget , they brought in a carbon tax earlier this year and its clear that's bringing in a lot of revenue )


Sousa set to balance budget with no tax hikes


Finance Minister Charles Sousa will finally eliminate Ontario’s deficit in Thursday’s budget.


Finance Minister Charles Sousa boasted Wednesday in he legislature that the Liberal government has stanched the flow of red ink for the foreseeable future, crediting Ontario’s growing economy.


By Robert BenzieQueen's Park Bureau Chief
Rob FergusonQueen's Park Bureau

Wed., April 26, 2017


Finance Minister Charles Sousa is tabling a balanced budget with no tax hikes for Ontarians in hopes of tilting the scales for Premier Kathleen Wynne’s re-election next spring.

On the eve of Thursday’s financial blueprint, Wynne said eliminating the annual deficit means voters can expect more help from Queen’s Park in their daily lives.

“We now, with a balanced budget, have a responsibility to make sure we tackle the needs people are confronting in this globally uncertain economy,” the premier told the legislature Wednesday.

Her government has already promised to reduce electricity prices an average of 17 per cent starting in June, on top of the 8-per-cent rebate of the provincial HST on hydro bills that took effect in January.

That 25 per cent total, which she has been touting since it was unveiled last month, is part of a charm offensive to prove the Liberals understand that people are feeling pinched.


With an election on June 7, 2018, Wynne has been languishing in public-opinion polls behind Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

That’s why last week the premier announced a 16-point plan to make housing more affordable in south Ontario — with a 15-per-cent foreign buyers tax to cool down the real estate market, and new rent controls limiting hikes to inflation on all buildings.

In the first balanced budget in the province since 2008, Sousa is promising new funding for child care, health care, affordable housing and respite care, among other measures.


However, Liberal sources stressed that a full-scale NDP-style pharmacare plan to help cover the costs of 125 commonly prescribed drugs is far more expensive than the New Democrats’ estimate of $475 million annually.

Still, Sousa boasted that the government has stanched the flow of red ink for the foreseeable future, crediting Ontario’s growing economy.

“We’re balancing the books tomorrow. We’re balancing the books next year. We’re balancing the books the year after that, and we’re investing in the people of Ontario,” he said.

But Brown said the Liberal hype around the budget is more about the fact Ontario voters will be heading to the polls in just over 13 months.

“It certainly smells like a lot of electioneering,” the PC leader told reporters, casting doubt on Sousa’s promise to end annual deficits.

“They’re trying to prop up an artificial balance.”

Deputy NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said the Wynne administration appears to be playing catch-up given the flurry of pre-budget announcements about balancing the books, child care and other issues.

“The government’s had 14 years to make change, they’ve had 14 years to address the problems we’ve seen in this province and they’re now scrambling last minute to save their own political skin,” said Singh

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2017/04/26/sousa-set-to-balance-budget-with-no-tax-hikes.html
cosmostein





Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 7436
Reputation: 297.4
votes: 21
Location: The World

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This budget is the equivalent of a junkie finding fifty dollars in the street to get through the day.

The Province is using one time cash infusions from the sale of Hydro One and the sale of several properties owned by the Province to balance the books for this year but it doesn't solve the spending problem, it simply masks it till the funds run out.
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
This budget is the equivalent of a junkie finding fifty dollars in the street to get through the day.

The Province is using one time cash infusions from the sale of Hydro One and the sale of several properties owned by the Province to balance the books for this year but it doesn't solve the spending problem, it simply masks it till the funds run out.



the way this budget is being sold by media and liberals , is definitely lacking reality . the debt faced by Ontario has never been this high , it owes $billions and is no clear plan as to how it could ever pay it off .

even if the budget actually is " balanced " Ontario financial troubles are far from fixed , there trying to claim everything is now fine , when in reality things are still pretty dismal
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2017 Ontario budget

Ontario budget highlights: 10 things you need to know


MATT LUNDY AND Tom Cardoso

The Globe and Mail
Last updated: Thursday, Apr. 27, 2017 4:39PM EDT

The Ontario Liberals announced the province’s first balanced budget in a decade on Thursday, an expected move that could be construed as the unofficial start to the 2018 election campaign.

Much of the budget covered several areas that have already been addressed – most notably, the province’s 16-point plan for housing reform. But it also unveiled several billion dollars of additional spending in health care, referred to as a “booster shot” by Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa.

The Ontario Liberals are likely hoping the balanced budget will garner traction with voters at a time when their leader, Premier Kathleen Wynne, is beset with low approval ratings.

With that in mind, here are 10 highlights from the Ontario budget:



Budget balance and debt


THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: ONTARIO BUDGET 2017


Since the 2008 recession, the Liberals have run back-to-back budget deficits, adding almost $90-billion in operational debt during that period, and bringing the province’s total debt to $332.4-billion. As part of their 2010 budget plan, they vowed to balance the budget by the 2017-18 fiscal year. Following an estimated $1.5-billion deficit for the 2016 fiscal year – their smallest since they began running deficits in 2008 – Ontario is now projecting three years of balanced budgets.


While future budgets may be balanced, the province is not taking any significant immediate measures to address its overall debt. The 2017 budget does project a decrease in the net-debt-to-GDP ratio, but it’s a very slow one: at current projections, the debt ratio won’t return to pre-2008 levels until 2029.



Youth drug coverage



Ontario will launch a universal drug coverage program for children and youth, which the province is touting as “the first … of its kind in Canada.” Starting next year, the program will be available to those aged 24 and under, and it will fully cover the cost of all medicines funded through the Ontario Drug Benefit program. Coverage will be available regardless of family earnings. Ontario is among the top-spending provinces for drugs on a per-capita basis, according to projections for 2016 from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.



Health spending

Ontario is ramping up investment in health care, spending an additional $7-billion over the next three years. The overall health budget is increasing by 3.3 per cent.

Some of that new spending is targeted for hospitals. The province will spend an additional $9-billion over the next decade to support construction of new hospital projects. Further, operating funding for public hospitals will increase by 3 per cent.

Many of the province’s hospitals have grappled with occupancy rates in excess of 100 per cent, putting a significant strain on resources. Moreover, Ontario’s hospital spending on a per-capita basis lags that of all other provinces and territories, according to projections for 2016 from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. (Its forecast did not include Quebec.)



New health-care spending is also aimed at reducing wait times. The province will spend an additional $890-million over three years to fund more procedures for such things as foot, knee, hip and cataract surgeries.

Other areas earmarked for new spending include expansion of mental health and addiction services, home nursing, caregivers, support for those living with dementia and a new Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit.


Electricity

The province will spend $1.44-billion in fiscal 2018 on programs to provide relief to consumers from rapidly rising electricity rates. The government announced earlier this year that homeowners can expect to see their electricity bills reduced by an average of 25 per cent starting this summer. Rate increases over the next four years would also be held to the rate of inflation and include an 8-per-cent rebate equal to the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax, effective Jan. 1, 2017. About 500,000 small businesses and farms are also eligible for the rebate. The government has said that it recognizes that electricity rates have risen too much and too quickly.


Day care


The Ontario Liberals will spend more than $200-million next fiscal year to increase accessibility and affordability of licensed child care. On Wednesday, the government announced it would create additional licensed spaces in 2017-18, allowing 24,000 more children up to four years of age to access care, part of a previously announced plan to create licensed space for 100,000 more children. Child-care fees can be a significant expenditure for families. For instance, Toronto has the highest median monthly infant care fees in the nation, according to a 2016 survey from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.



Housing


Given the 16-point Ontario Fair Housing Plan announced last week by Finance Minister Charles Sousa, the budget is lean on further housing announcements. However, it did raise its revenue projections for the land transfer tax, a reflection of soaring house prices in Ontario. That revenue has soared to a projected $3.1-billion for the 2017 fiscal year, an average annual growth rate of 19 per cent since 2014.

Separately, the province will shift regulation of syndicated mortgage investment products to the Ontario Securities Commission in a move to toughen oversight of a fast-growing industry that has faced investor complaints about its practices. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) currently regulates syndicated mortgages, but an expert panel report last year said a watchdog like the OSC has more experience policing securities products.



Hotel and Airbnb tax

Municipalities will be allowed to bring in special taxes on hotel rooms, a practice common in other cities across North America and a revenue tool that Toronto Mayor John Tory and his council had demanded and banked on for his city’s own 2017 budget. The taxes could also apply to Airbnb-style short-term rentals. But Mr. Sousa offered nothing new for public transit projects, beyond what has already been promised, or for one of Mr. Tory’s key priorities: A firm commitment for hundreds of millions in provincial cash to help repair the city’s crumbling social housing units, hundreds of which are being condemned and boarded up.



Youth unemployment rate (ages 15 to 24)

download csv


The province will launch a program that looks to better prepare young people for the labour market. Ontario will invest nearly $190-million over three years across several initiatives, aimed at creating 40,000 “new work-related opportunities” for children and youth, ranging from elementary school students to recent postsecondary graduates. Ontario’s youth unemployment rate has run higher than the national rate for several years, and currently sits two percentage points above it.



Tobacco tax

During last year’s budget, the province tied increases in tobacco taxes to inflation. Echoing federal tax increases on tobacco announced during last month’s budget, Ontario has now abandoned this plan, opting to raise taxes above the rate of inflation, with the first increase of $2 a carton effective April 28. Tobacco taxes will then rise by an additional $10 a carton over the next three years.



Auto insurance

The province is changing the rules surrounding how drivers can show proof of auto insurance, allowing almost 10 million Ontarian drivers to use their mobile phones to provide proof instead of coverage instead of the current paper “pink slips.” As an incentive to drivers, the province is requiring insurers to offer a discount to policyholders that opt for electronic proof of insurance.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e34820349/
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if there is anything shocking in the new budget , pretty much a lot of what we expected

one item has me a bit confused , there bringing in free drug coverage for those 24 and under . since many people that age would already be covered by there parents health plans it seems rather unnecessary for the province to be paying for there prescriptions drugs . if its already covered by someone else why add on another costly expense ? to the provinces books

also youth don't generally use or need many prescription drugs , all I can really think of as its being brought in as a way for wynne to push her feminist agenda and so they can put more young women on the pill and so they'd be entering workforce instead of having babies . I can't really think of many prescriptions ( other than during winter cold season ) that are that commonly prescribed at that age other than the pill

its also another example of the liberals moving to the left and stealing ndp policy as just this weekend the ndp was calling for a universal drug coverage plan for all of Ontario , the liberal plan doesn't go that far and even they admit it might cost too much to cover everyone
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

also mention from what I remember most colleges/universities also have basic health plans and I think they cover some basic prescription drugs as well , so many people 18 - 24 could get coverage that way . so it doesn't really seem that necessary at all

it does seem very odd for the province to suddenly be taking on this expense as its going broke , to suddenly pay for something that is mostly already covered anyways either thru there parents health plans or thru the colleges health plans
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Highlights of the Ontario budget unveiled Thursday

The Canadian Press
Published April 27, 2017 - 5:12pm
Last Updated April 27, 2017 - 5:25pm



TORONTO — Ontario's finance minister delivered the province's fiscal plan Thursday, the government's first balanced budget in a decade. Here are the highlights:

____

PHARMACARE FOR YOUTH

More than 4,400 prescription drugs will be free for anyone under 25 starting next year under the province's new pharmacare program.

The program, dubbed OHIP+, is meant to provide universal drug coverage to children and youth regardless of family income.

It will cover all drugs currently available under the Ontario Drug Benefit program, with no co-payment or deductible.

The province says the new system will cost $465 million per fiscal year once it's up and running.

____

HEALTH CARE 'BOOSTER SHOT'

Ontario has budgeted $11.5 billion in new health-care spending over the next three years, an amount that's $7 billion higher than the province had previously planned.

The so-called "booster shot" includes $1.3 billion to help cut wait times to see specialists, get key surgeries and access mental health services.

It also includes funds earmarked for hospital construction, such as new facilities in the Niagara and Windsor areas.

That spending will total $9 billion over a decade.

____

GROWING DEBT

Despite reaching balance in its latest budget, Ontario's debt continues to grow — with projections putting it at $312 billion for 2017-2018.

The province's net debt is expected to rise to $336 billion in 2019-20.

Interest on debt is the fourth largest spending area, at $11.6 billion.

____

CHILD CARE SPACES

Ontario is vowing to create 24,000 new licensed child care spots, 60 per cent of which would be government-subsidized.

That would come at a cost of $200 million.

The province says it has already created 56,000 licensed child care spaces in recent years.

____

SCHOOL AND BEYOND

Ontario is vowing to build new schools in high-growth areas and help older facilities get a facelift.

The province is setting aside about $16 billion in the next decade for new construction as well as renovations and retrofits to make existing schools more energy-efficient.

Students are also getting a hand with work experience, with $190 million earmarked over three years to create 40,000 placements for them and for recent graduates.

____

HELP FOR SENIORS

Getting around using public transit will be slightly cheaper for Ontario seniors, who will be able to get part of their transit expenses refunded under a new tax credit.

The program, which is slated to kick in on July 1, will cover 15 per cent of eligible transit costs, up to $130 per person annually.

It is expected to cost the province $10 million a year.

Money is also being set aside — $8 million over three years — for so-called elderly persons centres, which provide services such as meals on wheels and exercise classes.

The province's dementia strategy is also getting $100 million over three years to support residents with dementia and those who care for them.

____

SUPPORT FOR INDIGENOUS RESIDENTS

Ontario's budget includes a number of measures meant to help the province's indigenous communities access education and justice, among other things.

The government is spending $200 million over three years to boost postsecondary education and training opportunities for indigenous people.

Meanwhile, $44.2 million will be spent in the next two years to expand or establish programs to make the justice system more culturally relevant, including the Gladue Program, which encourages courts to consider non-custodial sentences for indigenous offenders.

Another $2 million will be spent in that same time frame to develop anti-racism programs that will be designed and delivered by indigenous people.

____

TAXES ON TOBACCO, HOTEL STAYS

The Liberals are increasing tobacco taxes and giving municipalities the power to levy a hotel tax.

Tobacco tax rates will rise by $10 per carton of cigarettes over the next three years, starting with a $2 bump that takes effect at midnight.

As for the hotel tax, the budget provides few details, but it will require amendments to the Municipal Act and the City of Toronto Act, which gives the city the authority to levy its own taxes, but that has so far excluded hotels.

____

LAND TRANSFER TAX REVENUE INCREASE

Southern Ontario's booming housing market poured hundreds of millions more than expected into Ontario's coffers last fiscal year.

It helped generate $637 million more than projected in land transfer tax revenue.

The land transfer tax is expected to bring in $3.1 billion this fiscal year.

_____

ONLINE PROTECTION PILOT PROJECT

Ontario wants to help its financial institutions improve their cybersecurity with a new $4-million pilot project.

The project will pair financial institutions with companies working in the cybersecurity sector.

The province says that will also help create high-tech jobs.

____

OPPOSITION PARTIES REACT

Ontario's opposition parties derided the Liberal government's budget.

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown says the fiscal plan is nothing but a ploy to win over voters ahead of next year's provincial election.

Ontario's NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, meanwhile, says the budget does nothing to address the needs of cash-strapped families already struggling with hydro bills and housing costs.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/n.....d-thursday
cosmostein





Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 7436
Reputation: 297.4
votes: 21
Location: The World

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:


Interest on debt is the fourth largest spending area, at $11.6 billion.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/n.....d-thursday


Wow.....
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
RCO wrote:


Interest on debt is the fourth largest spending area, at $11.6 billion.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/n.....d-thursday


Wow.....



the interest payments have been large for some time , its not really new . although doesn't get the kind of coverage it deserves

its essentially the same as if someone rang up a $20,000 credit card bill and only paid the interest / minimum payment and made no attempt to pay off the actual bill

its the kind of thing that makes no sense and sets Ontario up to fail down the road , when the debt becomes too much to manage
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chef Sousa’s in Hell’s Kitchen


First posted: Thursday, April 27, 2017 07:35 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 07:42 PM EDT

sousa
Finance Minister Charles Sousa unveiled his budget Thursday at Queens Park. (CRAIG ROBERTSON, Toronto Sun)



Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa — “Chef Sousa” — as dubbed by Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown — served up a “balanced budget” for Ontario taxpayers Thursday.

Too bad he cooked it in Hell’s Kitchen, which is what passes for Ontario’s finance ministry these days.

Here’s Sousa’s problem and, more important, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s problem.

No matter how much the Liberals try to dress up what they say is their first “balanced budget” since 2008, you can’t put lipstick on a pig.

The pig is the staggering public debt the Liberals have racked up since taking power in 2003, now at $311.9 billion.

That’s 125% higher than the $138.8 billion the Liberals inherited from the previous PC government in 2003.

Even with Sousa and Wynne claiming a “balanced budget” this year — and Brown says they’re actually hiding a $5 billion operating deficit — Ontario’s debt now costs taxpayers $12 billion in interest payments annually.

If Ontario’s annual interest payments on debt were a government ministry, it would be the fourth largest spender after health, education and welfare.

Think of how many more subways, or hospital beds, or MRIs the Liberals could purchase with $12 billion a year, if it was not going down the black hole of paying interest on debt, without reducing the principal amount owed by a penny.

But that’s not the end of the Liberals’ financial chicanery.

In selling 60% of Hydro One to the private sector, the Liberals told us the money would be used to pay down debt and build up public infrastructure.

They also said the almost $2 billion annually they will take from us through cap and trade carbon pricing would go toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

But as PC finance critic Vic Fedeli pointed out Thursday, through sleight-of-hand, the Liberals are actually using this money to meet their daily operating expenses.

What they’ve done is to earmark the Hydro One and cap and trade money for the purposes they described, but then taken out an equal amount from the operating budget to spend on whatever they want.

Small wonder Ontario’s finances under the Liberals are a train wreck and the government they lead is the world’s most indebted sub-sovereign (non national) borrower.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017.....ls-kitchen
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberals hiding their deficit


lorrie-goldstein
By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun
First posted: Thursday, April 27, 2017 05:32 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 05:39 PM EDT


If you believe Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s claim that through her sound fiscal management she has balanced the province’s books and can now spend more on public services, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown rightly called Wynne’s budget a “Hail Mary pass” Thursday, cooked up by a Liberal government desperately trying to clean up the financial mess it’s made of the province’s books for the past 14 years, in time for next year’s election.

Brown said despite Wynne’s claim of a balanced budget – the first since 2008 – the Liberals are actually hiding a $5 billion operating deficit.

He said they’re covering it up with one-time sales of government assets valued at $1 billion, $2 billion from cap and trade, $1.5 billion in federal “Trudeau trust fund” cash and by counting $500 million in pension assets as revenue, an accounting trick rejected by Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk.

Beyond these shell games, the Liberals are massively increasing borrowing over the next three years, hiking it by $18 billion to $96.5 billion. That’s 23% higher than the $78.5 billion the Liberals said they would need just one year ago.

This, no doubt, will be part of their political slush fund for bribing us with our own money in Wynne’s next budget, which will come down shortly before next year’s election in June.

It’s the same trick Wynne is using to “lower” our electricity bills starting June 1 by 17% (plus the earlier 8% HST cut on Jan. 1) by racking up $25 billion in new debt to be paid back by taxpayers.

Despite Wynne’s claim of balancing the budget this year, Ontario’s total debt will still increase by $11.5 billion in 2017-18 to $311.9 billion, with another hike of $12 billion next year, because of debt servicing costs.

Since the Liberals came to power in 2003, when the provincial debt was $138.8 billion, they have added a staggering $173.1 billion in debt, a 125% increase in 14 years, far outstripping inflation and population growth.

Also, when the Liberals came into power in 2003, the province’s debt to GDP ratio, a key indicator of economic health, was at a reasonable 27%.

Today, it’s at 37.5% and while Wynne has pledged to reduce that ratio to pre-recession levels, her budget contains no plan for doing so.

Despite Wynne’s and Sousa’s happy talk, there’s no free lunch.

Public debt is simply differed tax hikes and service cuts to be paid by future generations – our children and grandchildren – who will pay tomorrow for the reckless spending of Ontario’s Liberals today.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017.....ir-deficit
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pharmacare program includes free prescription meds for Ontarians under 25


THE CANADIAN PRESS

First posted: Thursday, April 27, 2017 04:20 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 04:54 PM EDT

TORONTO - After years of restricting health-care funding growth, the Ontario budget released Thursday promises new money to reduce wait times and increase capacity at overcrowded hospitals, as well as free prescription medication for children and youth.

“BOOSTER SHOT”

The budget promises to increase health-care spending by a total of $11.5 billion over the next three years. The government had previously intended to keep annual health-spending increases low during this time, and the new so-called “booster shot” of funding is $7 billion higher than the previous plan.

Of that $7 billion, $1 billion is coming this budget year. Ontario will spend $53.8 billion on health care this year, up from $52.2 billion last year. Spending will rise to $58.1 billion in 2019-20, according to the budget plan.

This comes after the province’s Financial Accountability Office warned that if the government continued with its plan to restrain health-care funding — without the booster shot — the level of austerity would have been the strictest in 20 years, and possibly unsustainable in the face of a growing and aging population.

The budget indicates $1.3 billion of the new funding will be dedicated to reducing wait times over the next three years.

OHIP+ CHILDREN AND YOUTH PHARMACARE

The biggest surprise policy announcement of the budget is free prescription medication for Ontarians under age 25. The pharmacare program will cover medication for all of the province’s four million children, regardless of their family’s income. It will be most beneficial for families that don’t have work drug plans and aren’t on social assistance.

It will cover the 4,400-plus drugs included in the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, which is used by seniors and those on social assistance. However, children’s caregivers will not have to pay the deductibles and co-pay costs that those groups pay.

The program will cover common childhood medications including antibiotics, asthma inhalers, diabetes medication, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder medication. It also includes oral cancer medication, while hospital-based medication is already free in Ontario.

The pharmacare program is set to begin on Jan. 1, 2018. The cost of its first full year is estimated at $465 million.

Earlier this month, the Ontario NDP announced plans for their own pharmacare program that, if the party is elected, would cover 125 basic medications for Ontarians of all ages.

HOSPITALS

The budget includes an increase of $518 million in hospital funding, a three-per-cent boost. It comes after hospitals warned of overcrowding and patients being placed in hallways, boardrooms and even cafeterias when there weren’t enough beds. The Ontario Hospital Association had asked for a larger funding increase of 4.9 per cent.

The budget promises an extra $9 billion for hospital construction projects over 10 years, and announced newly approved hospital construction projects in Niagara, Windsor, Hamilton, Mississauga and the Weeneebayko hospital replacement project in northern Ontario, as well as a new $2.5 million for the planning of an expansion to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.

SENIOR HEALTH

The budget includes $100 million over three years for the province’s new dementia strategy, which will include helping patients and their caregivers find support, and improving training and education for health-care workers in dementia care.

The budget includes an extra $58 million for long-term care homes, a two-per-cent increase. Residents’ food allowance will increase by six per cent, which comes after negative news reports that the province spends more per capita on food for inmates than seniors in long-term care.

The budget also increases funding to Behavioural Supports Ontario by $10 million, which will help long-term care homes handle patients with complex behavioural issues related to dementia.

ABORTION PILL FUNDING

The budget promises a level of public funding for the new abortion pill Mifegymiso. It will be added to the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, but those who don’t have coverage under the public plan or a private plan will still pay out of pocket for the pill.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017.....s-under-25
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6287
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew Coyne: Ontario promises a balanced budget, but it still doesn’t matter a whit

Andrew Coyne
Thursday, Apr. 27, 2017


Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, right, cries as he delivers the 2017 Ontario budget next to Premier Kathleen Wynne at Queen's Park in Toronto on Thursday, April 27, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette


Where was I? Ah yes. Last year at this time, I was telling you that the government of Ontario was on the verge of balancing its budget, and that it did not matter. Now here we are a year later, and the government of Ontario is indeed promising a balanced budget. And it still does not matter.


The only reason it can even claim to have balanced the budget is by pushing more and more of what would previously have been deficit spending off-budget. Until 2003, when the Liberals came to power, Ontario’s net public debt was essentially its accumulated annual deficits. Since then, the two have diverged sharply: accumulated deficits, at $193.5 billion, are now just 62 per cent of net debt, at $311.9 billion.

So while Kathleen Wynne’s government is boasting of a “balanced budget” this year, the reality is that public borrowing will increase by another $10 billion — on top of the $180 billion the Liberals have already added to the debt to date.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan DenetteOntario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, right, delivers the 2017 Ontario budget next to Premier Kathleen Wynne at Queen's Park in Toronto on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

The government line on this is that this does not count, because all of this new borrowing will be for investments in capital assets, rather than operating spending. A budget handout helpfully refers to the former as “Good Debt,” while the latter is “Bad Debt,” a somewhat unfortunate phrase for the government with the largest debt of any sub-national jurisdiction in the world.

That’s one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is to note that the $10 billion in new borrowing is also equal to how much program spending for the coming fiscal year, at roughly $130 billion, has increased over what it was projected to be just two budgets ago. Had they kept to that not very exacting standard of fiscal discipline — spending would still have been higher, after inflation and population growth, than at any time in the province’s history prior to 2010, nearly one-fourth higher than in the last days of Bob Rae — there would have been no increase in either Good or Bad Debt.

Of course, the distinction between Good and Bad Debt depends on a critical assumption: that borrowing to spend on capital assets results in higher economic growth and therefore higher government revenues, sufficient to offset the associated increase in interest costs.

There is no particular reason to believe this, just because it pleases the government to assert it; certainly the budget provides no evidence of it.

But never mind: the budget is balanced! The shortfall between what the government chooses to call “revenues” and what it counts as “spending” has been reduced to zero! Er, well, about that: The opposition Conservatives helpfully pointed out that the government is counting several billion dollars in revenues against the deficit that are either the result of one-time asset sales (of government buildings and the like), or were supposed to have been quarantined inside separate dedicated accounts. Federal transfers, likewise, are to spike this year, at $25.7 billion; they are forecast to decline in coming years. (The budget includes the obligatory annual complaint about the inadequacy of federal transfers. In fact, at 18.1 per cent of provincial revenues, they are half-again as large as when the Liberals took power.)


Okay, but it’s close to being balanced! That should count for something after nine straight years of deficit we’re finally back in the black. Ish! Well, yes: the government asks to be congratulated for sort-of balancing the books nearly a decade after the last recession, that is to say at the very height of the business cycle. It made the same boast at the height of the last business cycle, that is to say just before the recession. This is not the appropriate benchmark. By this stage, it should have been running surpluses, to offset the deficits incurred during the recession, with a view to bringing its debt under something resembling control.

Instead, the budget projects the debt-to-GDP ratio, now 37.5 per cent, will remain roughly at the same altitude — again, assuming no recession or unforeseen calamity of any kind — until well into the next decade. By fiscal 2025, seven years from now, it may have fallen as far as 32.9 per cent of GDP, which would still be higher than its all-time peak before the Liberals got their hands on the fiscal levers.

But then, the Liberals aren’t thinking seven years ahead. They aren’t even thinking two years ahead. Everything, and I do mean everything the Wynne government is up to these days is concerned exclusively with the next 14 months, which is the time remaining before the government must meet the voters and, if current polls are anything to go by, certain doom. Hence the current frenzy to shovel stuff out the door, freeze every price, give away everything that isn’t nailed down. Here, have a 25 per cent cut in hydro prices! Rent controls for all! And, the budget’s showcase goodie, free prescription drugs for everyone (well, everyone under 25)!

Cost? “We don’t put a price on our kids,” the finance minister, Charles Sousa, ventured. Indeed, the budget, hilariously, contains no estimate of the cost of the new drug program, although an unusally sketchy government handout pegged it at $465 million. Why wasn’t the figure in the budget? Well, there wasn’t room, the minister suggested. The suspicion, rather, is that there wasn’t time, the program having been cobbled together at the last minute as a response to the NDP’s more sweeping pharmacare proposal. The only safe bet is that this will prove a vast underestimate. So add that to the mountain of debt for future governments, and future taxpayers, to contend with.

“We don’t put a price on our kids.” No, but we’ve no problem sticking them with the bill.

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/.....ter-a-whit
Post new topic   Reply to topic Page 1 of 2

Goto page 1, 2  Next  


 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum


is Ontario's budget actually now balanced ?

phpBBCopyright 2001, 2005 phpBB