CGA Ontario defines deficit reduction & economic development essential to 2011 provincial budget

TORONTO, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - The Certified General Accountants of Ontario (CGA Ontario) presents to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs at Queen's Park today, participating in the government's consultation in preparation for the 2011 provincial budget.

"CGA Ontario is committed to making the province of Ontario an even better place to do business and to live," said Doug Brooks, FCGA, CEO, CGA Ontario.

Recommendations put forth by CGA Ontario outline collective knowledge, ideas and aspirations as a partner of government and business for the coming fiscal year:

Short Term - Manage the deficit and return to balanced budgets:

Accelerate deficit reductions over the next three years and return to balanced budgets prior to 2017-18; at which time, reduce the accumulated debt by a minimum of $2 billion annually.

Recommended measures to manage the deficit:

  • Conduct cost/benefit analysis of initiatives funded through the stimulus program.
  • Maintain permanently the program expenditure review working group. Ensure all ministries are included in the program expenditure review.
  • Ensure the working group operates on an inter-ministerial basis.
  • Tie expenditure growth in healthcare to a benchmark, e.g. consumer price index, growth in gross domestic product.
  • Create an expert panel comprised of economists, actuaries and accountants, who have expertise in the financial management of health care services.

"Without prompt return to balanced budgets, there is concern that growing debt will burden Ontarians for decades to come," said Doug Brooks, FCGA, CEO, CGA Ontario. "It could also limit the government's ability to invest in what we see as priority areas, such as public infrastructure and labour development which would hamper Ontario's economic competitiveness."

Long-term - Establish an economic development strategy:

  • Foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Leverage the strength found in existing economic clusters.
  • Assist in expanding export markets, particularly for small and medium-size enterprises.

"Currently, the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector employs 50 per cent of Ontario's workforce but only represents 35 percent of Ontario's exports and these exports are derived from only eight per cent of SMEs," said Ted Wigdor, vice-president, government and corporate affairs, CGA Ontario."

Certified general accountants see more than numbers. They bring more than a century of experience delivering accounting and finance expertise to all sectors of the Ontario economy. Whether it's financial forecasting or helping in the acquisition of a new business, a Certified General Accountant's skills can lead to great success in these ever-changing economic times. www.cga-ontario.or / www.cga-more.org

CGA Ontario is a self-governing body that grants the exclusive rights to the CGA designation and controls the professional standards, conduct and discipline of its 20,000 certified general accountants (CGAs) and 8,000 students in the CGA program of professional studies in the province of Ontario.

SOURCE CERTIFIED GENERAL ACCOUNTANTS OF ONTARIO

For further information:

Amy Mulhern, Manager, Public Relation, CGA Ontario
Telephone: 416-544-4781 / 1-800-668-1454 ext. 8311 / Mobile: 416-606-5860
Email: amulhern@cga-ontario.org

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CERTIFIED GENERAL ACCOUNTANTS OF ONTARIO

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CGA Ontario

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