QUEENS PARK – Ontario’s deficit is now $3 billion lower than projected in last spring’s budget. The province’s 2012-13 deficit is projected to be $11.9 billion – an improvement from the $14.8 billion that was projected in the 2012 Ontario Budget. This is the fourth year in a row that Ontario is ahead of the government’s fiscal targets. The deficit is now projected to be 52 per cent lower than the $24.7 billion deficit projected in the fall of 2009, at the depth of the global recession.
The updated projection includes one-time savings of $1.1 billion from the elimination of banked sick days for teachers. It also includes increased revenues in 2012-13 mostly due to a one-time boost to corporate tax revenues of $1.1 billion, largely related to tax assessments for years prior to 2011. Despite this progress, continued strong action is required to eliminate the deficit. The 2012 Budget included nearly $18 billion in savings and cost avoidance over three years.
The Ontario Liberals state, “Eliminating the deficit remains the single most important step the province can take to grow the economy and create jobs. A strong economy is the means to continue delivering the best education and health care in the world”.
“Today’s deficit update from Finance Minister Dwight Duncan will amount to nothing more than hot air, as the Liberals still have no plan – absolutely no clue – how to get the province back on track to balanced budgets”, Ontario PC Energy Critic Vic Fedeli stated, responding to the Ontario Goverment announcement.
“The Liberals can play all they want with numbers in a notebook, but a magic marker won’t erase the multi-billion dollar deficit Ontario is facing,” Fedeli stated. “They still have their heads in the clouds. The Liberals shut down the House to run a beauty pageant for their next Leader – and not a single contender has come up with a plan to rein in a decade of reckless overspending. Based on the out-of-touch, carbon-copy sound bites we’ve been getting from them, we know the next Liberal Premier will keep digging this province into an even deeper hole,” concluded Fedeli.