Budget supports low-income families, but constraints still placed on public service workers

TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - While Ontario's budget will provide some relief for low-income families and children, the government will continue to put constraints on wages and benefits of public service workers.

"We're pleased to see some movement in addressing the needs of students from low-income families, which we have called for in ETFO's Building Better Schools education agenda," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "There are too many children in our schools who are unable to fully engage in learning because they are hungry or stigmatized."

The budget includes measures to improve the Ontario Child Benefit, provide additional health benefits for children in low-income families, and expand school nutrition programs.

Along with the province-wide implementation of full-day Kindergarten this fall, ETFO welcomed investments in school infrastructure, and access to technology and learning tools for students.

However when it comes to budget choices, the government continues to overlook a key revenue tool, a choice that comes at the expense of many working people.

"There was some wage relief for child care workers and personal support workers but it is unfortunate that the government did not take measures to increase the corporate tax rate as part of a fairer tax system. The government will continue to find savings by reducing benefits, and continuing to squeeze the wages of most public service workers," said Hammond.

While the government will introduce a new tax rate for the top two percent of earners, there is virtually no change to the province's corporate tax rate, one of the lowest in North America. Economic studies continue to show that such measures are not creating jobs.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals. It recently released Building Better Schools, ETFO's education agenda for building a better learning environment for all students at www.buildingbetterschools.ca.

SOURCE: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information:

Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations: Cell: 416-948-0195, vdugale@etfo.org

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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