Ted Arnott, MPP
Wellington – Halton Hills
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2010
Liberals cooking the books: MPP Arnott
(Queen’s Park) – The McGuinty Liberals’ promises to balance the budget just can’t be trusted, says
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.
“They’re cooking the books,” he charged. “Based on their track record, I highly doubt the Liberals
will ever balance the budget for as long as they’re in office.”
Facing a record deficit this year of nearly $20 billion, the government plans to continue borrowing
more than it takes in until 2018.
But that plan is based on spending increases of less than 2 percent per year—unrealistic, Mr. Arnott
says, for a government that has increased spending by an average of 7 percent a year since taking
“The McGuinty Liberals continue to borrow more than $2 million an hour, every hour, 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year,” said Mr. Arnott. “They seem hard-wired to overspend. During the good
years, they were totally unwilling to hold the line on spending.”
He adds that the Liberal government will have doubled the provincial debt by 2012-13.
“Their record on the debt is appalling,” he said.
The provincial Auditor General is required to verify the accuracy of government budget numbers, but
only in the months before an election. That’s what Mr. Arnott hopes to change.
In a statement in the Ontario Legislature on May 18 , he called for an objective assessment of all
key budget documents and financial reports in the years between elections, undertaken by the
auditor or another independent and qualified professional.
“If the government is playing games with the numbers in the budget, the taxpayers of Ontario need
to know the truth,” Mr. Arnott’s statement concluded.
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Ontario Hansard – 18-May2010
Mr. Ted Arnott: The 2010 budget was tabled in this House two months ago. Buried within the budget
papers document, released on March 25, was a so-called plan to balance the budget by 2018. This means
that if the plan is truthful and is followed, for the next eight years the provincial government will continue
digging the debt hole even deeper. To place this in context, people need to know that, having taken office
in 2003, the profligate McGuinty Liberals will have doubled the provincial debt by 2012-13.
Now, having ignored prudent warnings to keep the lid on their spending, they say they can balance the
budget if we will just trust them and be patient. Trust and patience? These virtues are in short supply
when it comes to this government, and with good reason. When you look at the details of the budget
papers, you see that their balanced budget plan is predicated on the government keeping overall spending
increases below 2% a year. Considering the fact that the McGuinty government’s spending increases have
averaged more than 7% a year during their time in office, one must question the integrity of their
While there is a legislative requirement that the Auditor General express an opinion of the accuracy and
veracity of the government’s budget just before a provincial election, I believe we need an objective
assessment of all of the government’s key budgetary documents and financial reports in the years between
elections, undertaken by the Auditor General or another independent and qualified professional.
If the government is playing games with the numbers in the budget, the taxpayers of Ontario need to
know the truth.