The Ontario government's strategy to eliminate the projected $8.5 billion deficit has largely hinged on hoping revenues will grow robustly and eventually catch up to spending increases. This is a risky strategy.
Ontario needs to speed up its deficit reduction: Government should look at compensation for government employees
The Ontario government has pledged to eliminate its budget deficit by 2017/18. However, the government’s recent record on fiscal issues casts doubt on whether it will meet this target.
The Ontario government has dug itself deep into debt and continues to spend more than the revenue it brings in each year.
Last week, Standard and Poor’s announced a downgrade to Ontario’s long-term credit rating, pointing to the province’s “very weak budgetary performance.”
Ontario’s 2015 budget, like those of years past, needed a concrete plan to get government finances on a sound footing. Yet again, the budget failed to deliver.
How governments manage their finances matters a great deal. Spend and borrow too much and the result is a spiral of increasing deficits that create ever higher debt. Then, ever-more tax dollars end up spent on debt interest—not on education, health care, administering provincial courts, or other areas in which provincial governments are involved.
There was an aura of complacency in Queen’s Park as the Ontario government released its update on the state of provincial finances.
We’ve seen this script before. Higher spending. Tax increases. Persistent deficits. Growing debt. Warnings from credit rating agencies. A government unwilling to make the tough choices to turn things around.
A new report on provincial debts and deficits by Moody's, the international credit rating agency, is another piercing reminder of Ontario's serious fiscal challenges.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa called his updated financial plan a new direction but in truth it had a nostalgic feel. With his government facing considerable fiscal challenges including an $11.7 billion deficit and growing debt, Ontarians desperately needed a new direction. What they actually got was more of the same: increased spending and a government reluctant to deal with core problems.