Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2017
MPP Arnott calls Liberal budget a “shell game”
(Queen’s Park) – Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott is calling the 2017 Provincial Budget a “shell game” vainly designed to restore the Ontario Liberals’ sagging popularity.
“With an election expected next year and the Premier’s approval rating at an historic low, the Liberals are desperately trying to divert attention away from their record of waste, debt, mismanagement and scandal,” Mr. Arnott said.
In his Budget Speech at Queen’s Park on April 27, Finance Minister Charles Sousa stated that after years of deficits, the Ontario Budget is finally balanced. The Ontario PC Caucus is raising alarm bells about that claim.
”What Mr. Sousa neglected to explain is that about $5 billion of the revenue he’s counting on this year, including proceeds from the sale of Hydro One, can’t be counted on in the coming years,” Mr. Arnott pointed out. “It’s like a shell game.”
Not only that, the Provincial debt continues to rise. It stood at $139 billion when the Liberals took power in 2003, and is expected rise to $312 billion this year.
“The growing debt must be serviced, and paying the interest on the debt limits the Government’s ability to fund priority programs like health and education,” Mr. Arnott added. “What’s worse, they’ve articulated no plan whatsoever to even begin paying down the principal of the debt.”
The Budget Speech included a commitment to free drug coverage for young people, but few details were provided.
“Since they’re rushing the new drug program to meet a political timetable, consultation will likely be minimal, and there are bound to be huge problems as it’s implemented,” Mr. Arnott cautioned.
On a positive note, Mr. Arnott was pleased to see reference to the new Groves Memorial Community Hospital in the Budget Papers document which accompanied the Budget Speech.
“We continue to work with the Minister of Health and his staff to urge progress on our new hospital in Centre Wellington, which we’ve been working on for more than a decade. I am hopeful that we will hear more good news on this soon,” Mr. Arnott concluded.
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