TORONTO, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Aside from progressive measures that can
only be credited to the New Democrats, Ontario's Liberal government has
introduced a budget that fails to protect public services or promote
job creation and economic development, the United Steelworkers (USW)
"The budget's only positive measures were those specifically requested
by the NDP. Beyond that, the government has no plan to pay for needed
public services or create jobs," said Marty Warren, USW's Ontario
"The budget includes some modest investments in training for young
workers, social assistance for the jobless and home care for seniors.
However, the budget cuts other important public services and does
nothing else to reduce unemployment," Warren said.
The Liberal budget projects a meagre 1.5-per-cent growth in annual
program spending, which means service cuts relative to inflation, let
alone population growth. The Liberals also project a provincial
unemployment rate of at least seven per cent through 2015.
"Austerity in both federal and provincial budgets is undermining our
economy and job opportunities. Ontario already has the lowest program
spending per capita of any province," said Ken Neumann, USW's National
Director for Canada.
"Governments must start collecting a fair share of taxes from the
corporate sector to help balance budgets, rather than relying on
cutbacks that hurt families, communities and our economy," Neumann
The USW and the NDP have proposed to recoup provincial revenue by
permanently restricting HST input tax credits, such as entertainment
expenses, for large corporations.
In a letter dated yesterday, Ontario's finance minister asked the
federal finance minister to delay phasing in these HST credits for
three years. However, this 11th-hour request does not even appear in
The budget removes the Employer Health Tax exemption from large
companies with payrolls over $5 million, as proposed by the USW in
pre-budget hearings and by the NDP. But the Liberals are using the
proceeds to increase the exemption for other companies, rather than to
bolster provincial revenues.
USW economist Erin Weir said Ontarians should be skeptical of the
Liberal budget's proposal for a much-needed review of the provincial
"Changes to the mining tax regime are long overdue, to provide a fair
public return from the extraction of Ontario's mineral resources," Weir
"We'll believe it when we see it. The government made exactly the same
proposal in last year's budget but did not follow through."
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792
Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Erin Weir, USW Economist, 416-557-3460, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, (416) 434-2221, email@example.com