In 2018/19, the Ontario government expects to spend approximately $12.6 billion more than it collects.
Neither the McGuinty or Wynne governments balanced the budget.
A nominal total spending freeze would mean annual reductions in inflation-adjusted per-person spending of about three per cent.
Despite Premier Ford’s rhetoric, government spending in Ontario will still be up markedly this year.
If Queen’s Park reduces spending by $5 billion, it could eliminate two-thirds of the provincial deficit.
If the government exercises spending restraint, it can eliminate Ontario’s $15 billion deficit in roughly three years.
Ontario has a debt burden of more than $300 billion.
This year, the government expects to add $16.8 billion to the province’s net debt.
The Wynne government’s budget raises most middle tax rates and adjusts income thresholds.
This year’s budget plans to increase program spending by 6.1 per cent this year.