CGA Ontario puts forth provincial budget recommendations emphasizing debt reduction, alternative service delivery, public transit investment & SME support

TORONTO, March 12, 2013 /CNW/ - The Certified General Accountants of Ontario (CGA Ontario) has presented its pre-budget recommendations to the Honourable Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, in advance of the 2013 Ontario provincial budget.

The recommendations place emphasis on four key areas: continued debt reduction, exploration of alternative service delivery, investment in public transit and effective support of SMEs.

Return to a balanced budget and reduce the overall debt

  • Leverage value for money audits to identify if a program or service can be delivered with less cost and greater efficiency.
  • Use existing tools and resources to collect unpaid taxes.
  • Limit annual program spending increases to less than one percent after the budget is balanced.

"We remain optimistic that the budget can be balanced by 2017-18, but stress that the government must focus on continued debt reduction once the budget is balanced," said Doug Brooks, FCGA, CEO, CGA Ontario.

Alternative Service Delivery

  • Explore innovative ways to deliver services.
  • Leverage the expertise of the private and not-for-profit sectors.
  • Ensure that agreements include appropriate oversight and governance structures.

"The government needs to incorporate innovative ways to deliver services that provide cost efficiencies without sacrificing quality," said Ted Wigdor, vice-president, government, regulatory and corporate affairs, CGA Ontario. "This can be accomplished by seeking partnerships with private and not-for-profit organizations and leveraging their expertise, thereby enabling the government to focus on public policy development."

Investment in Public Transit

  • Commit to dedicated funding for public transit investment.
  • Develop a regional public transit strategy.
  • Identify appropriate revenue generating tools based on an analysis of the benefits.

"We encourage the federal government to contribute to investing in public transit in large urban centres," said Ted Wigdor, vice-president, government, regulatory and corporate affairs, CGA Ontario. "We also recommend that the government commit in legislation that all revenue generated for public transit be reinvested solely in public transit."

Support for Innovative and Growth-oriented SMEs

  • Strengthen the environment for industry clusters.
  • Experiment with focused support, but with ongoing evaluation of results.
  • Use procurement to drive innovation and reduce capital gains at initial public offering.

"Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Ontario's economy," said Doug Brooks, FCGA, CEO, CGA Ontario. "We believe that focused support will increase the number of smaller firms that will grow into sector leaders in Ontario and abroad."

About Certified General Accountants of Ontario
CGA Ontario is a self-governing body that grants the exclusive rights to the CGA designation, and controls the professional standards, conduct and discipline of its members and students in the province of Ontario. Certified general accountants (CGAs) are committed to meeting the needs of businesses and organizations with strategic insight, leadership and demonstrated abilities. In Ontario, there are more than 22,000 CGAs and approximately 8,000 students working towards their designation. www.cga-domore.org

SOURCE: CERTIFIED GENERAL ACCOUNTANTS OF ONTARIO

For further information:

Amy Mulhern, Manager, Public Relations, CGA Ontario 
Telephone: 416-544-4781 / 1-800-668-1454 ext. 8311 / Mobile: 416-606-5860 
Email: amulhern@cga-ontario.org

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