Hampton: McGuinty budget shortchanges Ontario



    QUEEN'S PARK, March 25 /CNW/ - NDP Leader Howard Hampton says the
McGuinty Liberals' budget overwhelmingly underdelivers and shortchanges
Ontarians.
    "This is a half-baked budget that offers up small potato solutions to
Ontario's pressing problems, such as the manufacturing and resource sector
crisis, senior care, poverty and municipal finances," said Hampton.
    "Ontarians who were looking for assistance from Dalton McGuinty's
government are going to be sadly disappointed. In a time of economic
uncertainty and need, this budget overwhelmingly underdelivers," added
Hampton, pointing to the budget's paltry increase of 0.22 per cent in overall
expenditures.
    "Dalton McGuinty is offering Ontarian's scraps from his kitchen table.
Ontarians starving for solutions from their government deserve far better.
This budget effectively leaves them to fend for themselves."

    Hampton says the budget fails to properly invest in four priority areas
the NDP has identified:

    
    -   Assisting the hard-hit manufacturing and resource sectors: With more
        than 200,000 jobs lost in the past four years, the McGuinty
        government's barebones re-training scheme would only assist one of
        every ten of these workers, while offering no direct assistance for
        ailing manufacturers.

    -   Improving care for seniors in long-term care facilities: The
        government's threadbare plan provides seniors with an additional
        increase of just six minutes per day of hands-on care, leaving them
        far short of the 3.5 hours that healthcare workers, residents and
        families have called for.

    -   Tackling poverty: The government's meagre plan falls well short of
        what's needed to repair social housing across Ontario, fails to
        eliminate the clawback of the national child tax benefit and leaves
        400,000 low-income kids hungry by giving them just a $1 a week for
        improved nutrition.

    -   Helping cash-strapped municipalities: The government's infrastructure
        investment falls far short of the $65-billion municipalities urgently
        needed to replace aging roads, bridges and water systems, and there
        is no additional money to upload provincially-mandated programs and
        services.
    





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