The March 29 Ontario budget is a status quo budget. It does not do enough to help people in our riding who are struggling to make ends meet. The HST is taking $800 a year out of the average family budget. The budget should have focused on making life more affordable for families and seniors instead of giving additional tax breaks to big, profitable corporations who do not create any new jobs.
In addition, there is no new money for affordable housing. While the provincial government is creating more spaces at colleges and universities, those same students will be facing skyrocketing tuition fees.
The Ontario NDP wants to help families and seniors with their household budgets by removing the HST from hydro and home heating bills. The NDP would also replace the general corporate tax rate cuts with jobs-focused refundable tax credits for capital investment, training, and innovation. These tax credits would reward businesses for investing and creating jobs.
One welcome item in the budget is the assistance given to farmers through the extension of the risk management program.
When it comes to spending restraint, the NDP believes that the McGuinty Government should stop spending billions of dollars on high end consultants and on corporate tax giveaways. The NDP would also put a hard cap on public sector CEO salaries.
Overall, the budget fails to put people first while continuing to give tax breaks to the richest corporations who won’t commit to create new jobs.
Brian Lynch, Cornwall Ontario