Ontario Budget 2015: Businesses Worried About Government's Growing Deficit Budget 2015

TORONTO, April 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario's business community remains concerned about Ontario's debt and deficit problem, according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC).  The deficit for 2014-15 is expected to grow to $10.9 billion, raising the province's debt to $284 billion, or $20,772 of debt for every Ontarian.

"We're concerned that this government will not be able to meet its deficit reduction targets," says Allan O'Dette, President of the OCC. "This budget is short on details and appears to push much of the heavy lifting down the road."

Today's budget does little to address business' concerns regarding the growing cumulative regulatory impact.  The OCC notes that over the past year, the government has implemented or announced several new initiatives that will have a direct impact on business, including the introduction of a cap and trade system and the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

The OCC calls on government to consider the negative impact that the ORPP could have on job creation, foreign direct investment, and the economy in general.

According to a recent survey conducted by the OCC, only one in four businesses in Ontario claim to be able to afford the costs associated with the ORPP, while 44 percent of those surveyed believe they will need reduce payroll or hire fewer employees in response to the ORPP.

The OCC welcomes the additional $2.6 billion investment in transportation infrastructure, available over 10 years.

"Infrastructure investment is among the most effective ways for government to create jobs and spur economic growth," adds O'Dette. "We're pleased to see this government taking leadership on modernizing infrastructure in the province."

The budget also reiterates government's previous commitment of up to $1 billion towards the development of transportation infrastructure in the Ring of Fire region. However, the OCC notes that regulatory stalemates continue to stall progress in the region.

SOURCE Ontario Chamber of Commerce

For further information: Liam McGuinty, Interim Vice President, Policy and Government Relations, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, e. liammcguinty@occ.ca, t. 416.482.5222 ext. 2380

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