TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Today's budget update from Ontario Finance
Minister Charles Sousa revealed an increasingly unequal province where
corporate profits are soaring as personal incomes falter, the head of
the Ontario Public Service Employees Union said today.
"The Economic Outlook shows revenues from corporate profits up more than
$750 million from the government's best guess six months ago," OPSEU
President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said. "Meanwhile, revenues from
personal income tax, the HST, and the Ontario Health Premium are down
by over $1 billion. This tells us one thing: we are witnessing a rapid
transfer of income from working peoples' wages to corporate profits."
Thomas said the next provincial budget must focus on reducing income
inequality by restoring corporate tax rates to 2009 levels,
resuscitating public services, and increasing the minimum wage.
"The key to prosperity in Ontario is more fairness," he said. "Right now
corporations are sitting on $500 billion in cash that they are not
investing because their customers - regular Ontarians - are all broke.
Shift some of that money from the top down and you'll see a dramatic
improvement in economic growth."
Thomas said OPSEU, which represents 130,000 Ontario workers, will call
on the government to take the following measures in the 2014 budget:
increase the corporate income tax rate to its 2009 level of 14 per cent
instead of the current 11.5;
reinvest the proceeds in public services, particularly those that serve
the most vulnerable and lowest-income Ontarians; and
increase the minimum wage to $14 an hour - 10 per cent above the poverty
line - as soon as possible.
"Putting money into public services and wages puts money directly back
into the economy and reduces inequality at the same time," Thomas said.
"When people have income, they can pay taxes, and that's how you fund
public services and balance the books.
"If this government truly wants 'a prosperous and fair Ontario', as it
said in the 2013 budget, it will take our advice."
For further information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas 613-329-1931 (cell)