Survey of 1,300 students shows future voters are prepared for deep cuts to balance budget, but don't want the government to rely on Drummond recommendations
TORONTO, March 20, 2012 /CNW/ - A new survey shows that Ontario high-school students are concerned about the provincial deficit of $16 billion and the impact it will have on their future. Respondents acknowledge the need for a balanced budget, but want it to come from spending cuts - not tax increases. When pressed, students would increase corporate and "sin" taxes as a means of raising revenue for the province.
CIVIX, a new charity focused on civic education, surveyed 1,367 students from school boards across the province as part of the Ontario Student Budget Consultation. Results have been submitted to the Ministry of Finance in advance of next week's budget, marking the first time in Canada that students have provided formal input on their provincial finances.
- 53% of students believe Ontario citizens should be prepared to sacrifice and deal with program and public service cuts to help solve the deficit; 36% believe Ontarians should contribute more through taxes and fees.
- 53% of students agree with the government's decision cut costs instead of raising taxes to solve the deficit problem; 34% think the government should both cut costs and raise revenue.
- When pressed, 65% of students would be in favour of increasing corporate taxes to raise government revenue; 81% of students believe the Ontario government should increase "sin" taxes on alcohol, tobacco and gambling.
- 66% of students chose health care when asked to choose which of the seven major government sectors should remain a spending priority; 23% of students chose education.
- Students rejected all Drummond recommendations that would negatively impact the health and education sectors: 63% rejected class size increases, 60% rejected the cancellation of the 30% tuition grant, 59% rejected removing a fifth year of high school for graduates, and 60% rejected capping annual health care spending increases at 2.5%
- 55% of student students think the government should only use some of Don Drummond's recommendations and supplement any rejected advice with their own ideas.
For complete survey results and an info-graphic display, visit: www.civix.ca
The Ontario Student Budget Consultation was a financial literacy and civic education program exploring Ontario's public finances.
- 72 different teachers piloted this program in their classrooms throughout Ontario
- 32 different school boards, from Windsor to Ottawa to Thunder Bay, are represented by the survey
After learning about the provincial budget process in class and through on-line tutorial videos, students answered 22 values-based survey questions via the Ontario Student Budget Consultation website between March 5th and 9th to gauge their views on Ontario's deficit, the Drummond report, and the views of the NDP and PC Finance Critics.
The Ontario Student Budget Consultation was made possible through support from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.
PDF with caption: "Ontario Student Budget Consultation Results". PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/03/20/20120320_C6053_DOC_EN_11317.pdf
For further information:
Taylor Gunn, President, CIVIX
1 866 488 8775