Strong Action for Ontario
A Plan to Balance the Budget, Create Jobs, Protect Education and Health Care
The McGuinty government’s 2012 Budget is taking strong action and making the right choice for families in Oak Ridges-Markham. The budget continues to focus on investments in a strong education and health care system.
The 2012 Budget proposes strong action to balance the budget by 2017–18, implementing savings of $4.9 billion over three years:
- Freezing the general Corporate Income Tax rate and Business Education Tax rate reductions until the budget is balanced
- Ensuring Ontario user fees recover more of the cost of providing programs and services
- Extending the pay freeze for MPPs for another two years — for a total of five years
- Extending the pay freeze for executives at hospitals, universities, colleges, school boards and agencies for another two years
The deficit for 2011–12 is projected to be $15.3 billion — $1 billion lower than forecast a year ago and an improvement of over 38 per cent from the 2009–10 deficit forecast in the fall of 2009. Without the measures announced in the 2012 Budget, Ontario’s deficit would approach $25 billion in 2014–15. Instead, it is projected to be $10.7 billion that fiscal year.
The government will continue to focus on its priorities to further strengthen the economy, spur job creation all the while protecting education and healthcare by:
- Continuing to implement full-day kindergarten by September 2014 and keeping a cap on class sizes in the early grades.
- Remaining committed to the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant for eligible full-time undergraduate university and college students.
- Implementing changes to ensure that the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) programis effective, properly administered and providing the most help to those in greatest need. The fairness of the program will be improved by asking the highest-income seniors earning over $100,000/year as an individual or $160,000/year as a couple to pay more of their own prescription drug costs, while ensuring that these costs do not impose an unreasonable burden.
- Enhancing community-based care to treat patients in alternative settings such as non-profit clinics and at home instead of in hospitals, where appropriate, and moving to patient-centred funding models to improve the value and quality of care.
- Consolidating many business support programs into a Jobs and Prosperity Fund that will focus on productivity growth and job creation, while generating overall savings of $250 million in 2014–15.
- Employment and training services will be further integrated and coordinated, and new measures will help apprentices complete their training.
- Transforming health care to reduce the rate of growth of spending to an average of 2.1 per cent annually over the next three years.
- Capping the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit at 3000kWh per month, which allows virtually all families (average family use, 800-1000kWh/ month) to continue receiving the 10 per cent discount on electricity.
“Building a stronger Ontario requires strong action. We will make the right choices to protect the vital gains we have made together. When we make these choices, we will choose protecting education and health care — every single time.”
-Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance
“The single most important step we can take to grow the economy, protect jobs and help keep education and health care strong is to be fiscally prudent, I am confident the 2012 Budget will help Ontario eliminate the deficit by 2017-18.”
- Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges-Markham
Please visit http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/