Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2014
Retread provincial budget shows arrogant complacency
(Queen’s Park) – Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott says that to stimulate job creation,
Ontario needs a budget that reduces the tax and red tape burden on business, and gets hydro
rates, government spending, and debt under control.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t hear the budget speech today that Ontario needs, if the province is
going to prosper and stimulate the creation of the new jobs we need,” said Mr. Arnott.
Despite the Liberals’ repeated commitment to balance the budget by 2017-18, the provincial
deficit is actually increasing by more than a billion dollars this year to $12.5 billion, up from
$11.3 billion last year.
“Not only have they failed to get spending under control, but they’re still going in the wrong
direction,” noted Mr. Arnott. “Does the Government really expect anyone to believe that the
budget will magically balance itself in three years’ time?”
Mr. Arnott pointed out that there are serious repercussions to the Government’s failure to rein in
“This year, they’re spending $11 billion just to pay interest on the debt. It’s the third largest
expense item in the budget, after only health and education. It’s also the fastest growing
expense item in the budget,” Mr. Arnott stated.
“With a $12.5 billion deficit and an $11 billion interest payment, they’re essentially making the
interest payment with borrowed money. It’s as if they’re paying their credit card bill with a line of
credit,” he added. “This approach is unsustainable, and leads to insolvency.”
Mr. Arnott argued that since the Liberals’ May 1 budget was presented, there have been a
number of significant developments which should have given them cause to reconsider:
The Conference Board of Canada recently released its spring provincial outlook report for
2014, which projected that Ontario will see sluggish growth of just 1.8% this year, below
the national average of 2.1%. The budget assumes the Ontario economy will grow 2.1%
In June, Moody’s credit rating agency announced Ontario’s credit rating outlook has been
changed from “stable” to “negative”. A credit downgrade is likely now, which would
increase the province’s borrowing costs even further, and reduce available funding for
programs like health, education, and highway infrastructure.
Last Friday, Statistics Canada released its June jobs report which showed that Ontario
lost another 33,900 jobs in the month of June. Ontario’s unemployment rate now stands
at 7.5%, up from 7.3% in May.
“Disregarding what has happened since May 1, the Liberals presented virtually the same budget
today as they did two and a half months ago. I call that arrogant complacency,” said Mr. Arnott.
Ultimately, Mr. Arnott argued, this is a budget that he simply cannot support.
“This budget takes Ontario down the wrong path,” Mr. Arnott concluded. “I couldn’t support it in
May, and I can’t support it now.”
* * * * *
Key Budget Numbers
Projected deficit: $12.5 billion. Up from $11.3 billion last year.
Projected provincial debt: $289 billion. Up from $269 billion last year. The debt was
$139 billion when the Liberals first came to office in 2003.
Government spending: $130 billion. Up from $127 billion last year.
Net debt per capita (in effect, the amount owed by each and every Ontarian):
$21,019. It was $11,339 in 2003.
Interest payments on the debt: $11 billion. Up from $10.6 billion last year. Interest on
the debt is the third largest expenditure in the provincial budget, behind only health care
and education. Interest payments are projected to rise by almost 8% per year for the
foreseeable future and are expected to be the fastest growing expense item in the
For more information on the 2014 budget, visit http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/
– 30 –
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott was re-elected to the Ontario Legislature on June
12. The 41 Provincial Parliament began a summer sitting on July 2, and the session
– 30 –