Nine years, Ontario has elected Liberal governments and for nine years, the taxpayers in this once mighty province are facing a budget whiledeeply in debt.
In fact, when the Ontario Liberals unveil their budget today, it’s going to include some really fancy talking and no mention of increasing taxes, yet it’s the only way they can eliminate the deficit and put a stop to the massive debt.
How massive is the debt?
Ontario has the largest debt of any sub-national government in the world!
Taxpayers pay an astounding $11-billion dollars a year on interest on the debt. Think about how many unions could be paid off with those funds, gas plants moved or documents shredded…
The Wynne Liberals will likely blame the Ontario Conservatives, or the Federal Conservatives, but they have already started to leak the “tax” increases coming down the pipe for Ontarians, including 4.3 cents to the price of a litre of gas plus an increase of $5/month to our natural gas bill – in order to protect the environment, no less…
Where the rest of the “savings” come from is unknown at this time, however, healthcare and education are likely to take a big hit.
Additionally, while it’s great that grocery stores are able to sell wine, the Liberals are likely to set a new minimum price for that bottle through this budget and add additional taxes on top of it.
Here is a recap of the “highlights” of the budget:
- Ontario’s net debt will hit $308 billion in 2016-17.
- Ontario’s debt is the largest of any sub-national jurisdiction in the world
- Ontario taxpayers are paying $11.8 billion in interest payments per year
- Interest on Ontario’s debt is going to increase to $13.1 billion by 2018-19
- University and college tuition will be free for students from families with incomes of $50,000 or less.
- More than half of students from families with incomes under $83,000 will receive non-repayable grants (which exceed the cost of an average tuition).
- A carton if cigarettes will increase by $3.00, effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
- Taxes on tobacco rise at the rate of inflation each year over the next five years.
- The minimum price for a bottle of wine rises to $7.95.
- The LCBO will be increasing their mark-up on wine to compensate for the fact consumers can purchase them at grocery stores, so in June there will be a 2% hike, followed by 2% hikes in 2017 and 2018 with a 1% hike in 2019.
- There will also be annual increases of about 10 cents in the tax on wine sold in private retail outlets, increasing from 16.1 cents to 20.1 cents over four years
- The $30 fee for Drive Clean vehicle emissions tests will be eliminated in 2017-18 – not the test – just the out of pocket cost which taxpayers will be paying to the tune of $60 million/year.
- Hospitals will get their first funding increase in five years, up $345 million, plus $12 billion over 10 years in capital grants for about three dozen major hospital projects
- The threshold for seniors to be eligible for cheaper drugs rises from $16,018 to $19,300.
- The Liberals have committed $333 million over five years to redesign and improve autism services.
So as the Liberals promised, the Liberals shall deliver. Spend, spend, debt, deficit, spend… To the highest debt in the world.
The Conservatives are going to have a huge headache cleaning this mess up in 3 years!