TORONTO, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario's first budget with Kathleen Wynne
as Premier is a disappointing continuation of the Dalton McGuinty
legacy, the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union
"Leaked news reports about today's budget suggested Ontarians could
expect significant improvements to desperately needed public services
and youth job programs," said Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "What they did
not say was that these improvements would be funded entirely by cuts to
other public services already weakened by five years of austerity.
"This budget is a missed opportunity to restore tax fairness in Ontario
and make corporations part of the solution, not only to the deficit,
but to the underfunding of public services and the shortage of decent
work," he said. "We've got too many Ontarians taking wage cuts while
too many more are either unemployed or underemployed at part-time,
temporary, insecure jobs.
"Meanwhile, profitable corporations are not only refusing to invest,
they're demanding the opportunity to extract a profit from public
services Ontarians currently receive at cost."
Overall program spending is projected to increase by just one per cent
on average in each of the next five years, the Budget says. That means
a real cut to public services and jobs of at least two per cent a year,
or more than 10 per cent over five years after inflation and population
growth are factored in, Thomas said.
Ontario's total corporate income tax rates are now barely two-thirds of
the U.S. average, while Ontario program spending per capita remains the
lowest in Canada.
"If this government truly believes in fairness, as it claims, then the
province's corporations have to be involved," Thomas said. "My members
are not keen on taking pay cuts they can't afford while Bay Street
banks are still getting tax cuts they don't need."
Thomas reserved his praise for the Liberal government's commitment to
reduce auto insurance rates, a move which he said would represent an
actual saving to working people.
For further information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas (613) 329-1931