Budget Spending Unrestrained, No Jobs Plan: Harris, Leone and Witmer

March 27, 2012

QUEEN’S PARK – Tuesday’s surprisingly weak budget fails to make the structural changes necessary in the way government operates and spends – so it cannot be supported, said Michael Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga, Rob Leone, MPP for Cambridge, and Elizabeth Witmer, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo.

“This is the time for responsible fiscal management,” Witmer said. “Yet today’s budget is a weak and disappointing response to Ontario’s jobs and spending crisis. Instead of focusing on prudent financial management and private sector job growth, the government has opted to continue its reckless and unsustainable spending,” said Witmer.

“Instead of coming up with a jobs plan, the Liberals have presented a budget that promises more of the same out-of-control spending. After weeks of talking about getting Ontario back on track, the McGuinty/Duncan duo have reversed course yet again — announcing budget increases in 14 out of 24 Ministries,” said Harris.  “When money is tight, families are forced to live within their means – something this government seems unable to do,” added Harris.

“The McGuinty Government’s budget has failed to develop a strategy to rein in government spending while promoting private sector job growth,” said Leone. “This Government just doesn’t get the message. They continue to spend non-existent money, without making meaningful cost reduction measures.”

Leone noted that months ago, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak set out a “stress test” to provide principled criteria for judging everything the government does, adding the budget fails all three:
It does far too little to reduce the size and cost of government through long-term, structural change to the way government operates and spends;

The budget works against contributing to private sector job creation with higher taxes on businesses that will further erode confidence in Ontario as a place to invest and create jobs; and
Because it does nothing to rein in runaway spending, the budget fails to ensure value for money and accountability for taxpayers.

On this basis, the Ontario PC Caucus will not be supporting this budget.