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Fall Economic Statement a desperate pre-election ploy

November 15, 2017

The Liberal government introduced its Fall Economic Statement yesterday, which provides an update on the province’s finances and sets out new spending initiatives. Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece is not impressed.

“This Fall Economic Statement is just a pre-election spending spree by a tired and scandal-plagued Liberal government”, Pettapiece charged. “It tells us they’re prepared to say anything, do anything, and spend anything to stay in power.”

The Fall Statement includes some limited measures designed to help small businesses cope with the impact of the Liberals’ Bill 148, which makes drastic changes to Ontario’s employment and labour laws. These include lowering the small business Corporate Income Tax rate and providing “new incentives to hire and retain youth”. However, the benefits will offset only a fraction of what the Liberals’ plan will cost small business owners in the years ahead.

“Local businesses face huge costs because of the Liberals’ Bill 148,” Pettapiece said. “Even after the modest tax changes, our small businesses will be much further behind.”

In contrast, official opposition leader Patrick Brown has committed to phase in the roll-out of the $14 to $15 minimum wage increase over four years. Starting in 2019, the wage would rise by 25 cents per year until it reaches $15 under his plan.

Pettapiece also questioned the government’s claim of a balanced budget. The auditor general recently called out the government for “making up its own accounting rules” with respect to their so-called ‘Fair Hydro Plan’. By the auditor general’s estimates, the actual deficit for 2016-17 is around $2.4 billion.

“The government has resorted to writing its own accounting rules to hide what’s obviously a growing deficit”, said Pettapiece. “No one believes them anymore.”

A summary of the Fall Economic Statement can be found here: https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/fallstatement/2017/contents.html