McGuinty's Budget: No relief, few results for average taxpayers

    Tory says McGuinty missed an opportunity to use billions in extra money
    to help families

    QUEEN'S PARK, March 23 /CNW/ - Progressive Conservative Party Leader John
Tory today said that despite increasing spending by over $4,500 per household,
Dalton McGuinty's 2007 Budget has virtually nothing in it for an average
hard-working taxpayer.
    "If you're a good old fashioned hardworking taxpayer, you were forgotten
altogether," said Tory, in a speech to the Economic Club of Toronto. "Not even
the hint of a tax break on the punishing 'health' tax. No plan for traffic and
transit. No relief from crowded hospital emergency rooms. More students than
ever in portables."
    Tory said in the speech that despite a $22 billion increase in annual
spending since coming to office, Dalton McGuinty hasn't been producing strong
    "Despite being awash in cash, Dalton McGuinty said 'no' to tax relief;
'no' to the workers who have lost their job; 'no' to commuters stuck in
gridlock; 'no' to the families of aging loved ones who require long-term-care;
'no' to farmers facing more than a $100 million in new cuts; and 'no' to
northerners who get a new 'facilitator' and nothing more," said Tory.
    Tory detailed in his speech some of the things he would have done
differently with the 2007 Budget.
    "First things first. We would begin to eliminate the health tax, that is
causing so much hardship, particularly to Ontario's poorest workers," said
Tory. "It's a broken promise tax and it's a regressive tax. It is a tax that
does not even go to health care. With the budget supposedly balanced, Dalton
McGuinty has no excuse."
    Tory also said he would have brought in a real plan to protect homeowners
from skyrocketing property assessment increases, instead of just spreading
sticker shock over four years as Dalton McGuinty has done. He pointed to the
lack of an infrastructure plan, and the complete absence of any help for the
over 120,000 people who have lost well-paid manufacturing jobs over the past
two years. He said Ontario has been slipping on Dalton McGuinty's watch and
that only strong leadership will return the province to a leading role.
    "Beyond my concerns about specific items in this budget is my wider
concern that there is no way any of us can actually count on this government
following through," said Tory. "Dalton McGuinty has always put his own
political health ahead of Ontario's health - why should we expect that, right
now, it's anything different?"

For further information:

For further information: Brendan Howe, (416) 325-0412

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