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Ford government unveils 2019 budget, promises to end deficit in five years

The Ontario government is ushering in a new era of spending in their first official budget.

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be accurate.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

The Ontario government is ushering in a new era of spending in their first official budget.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has released the blueprints of what will be a certain end to the Wynne-era spending addiction.

“It will be a reasonable, pragmatic, sustainable path back to balance,” said Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy before the release, who helped craft the fiscal plan.

As already discussed before today’s release, a new $89,000 government logo will also be replacing the “three men in a hot tub” logo used for trillium funds, introduced by former premier Dalton McGuinty in 2006 at a cost of $219,000.

We have seen other moves by the Ford government to save money, such as increasing classroom sizes and a plan to fire thousands of teachers across the province. A move that is expected to save the government $290 million a year from the education budget.

More changes that the Ford government will be implementing include:

• Restoring accountability and trust by introducing a credible, sustainable and fully costed plan that will return the province to fiscal balance in five years.

• Noted is that older schools and the aging population will require further investment, saying that endless deficits will hinder the future for the Ontario government.

• A fully balanced and sustainable plan that will bring Ontario to budget in five years, in what they are calling “A reasonable and responsible approach,” Projecting that the deficit will be reduced by 1.5B over the next year, bringing the deficit down to 10.3B dollars.

Ontario has the largest sub-national debt on the planet, with the previous government spending frivolously. That is why the government has announced a number of changes.

The government is also proposing an Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit. The CARE tax credit would be one of the most flexible childcare initiatives ever introduced in Ontario. It is a plan that would put parents in charge of the child care decision-making process.

The CARE tax credit would be on top of the existing Child Care Expense Deduction and focus benefits on families with low and moderate incomes. Families could receive up to $6,000 for eligible child care expenses per child under seven, up to $3,750 per child between the ages of seven and 16, and up to $8,250 per child with a severe disability. This new CARE tax credit would provide about 300,000 families with up to 75 percent of their eligible child care expense, and allow families to access a broad range of child care options, including care in centres, homes, and camps.

The Ford government is also aiming to assist in the death of loved ones, proposing to provide tax relief for families when they need it most. Effective January 1, 2020, the Estate Administration Tax would be eliminated for taxable estates with assets of $50,000 or less, and would be reduced by $250 for larger taxable estates.

Other highlights include:

• Providing approximately $17 billion in capital grants over the next decade to modernize and increase capacity at our hospitals.

• Providing 15,000 long-term care beds to modern design standards, an investment of $1.75 billion over the next five years.

• Investing $90 million to establish a new dental program for seniors.

• $3.8 billion over 10 years to support community health and justice services, supportive housing, and acute mental health inpatient beds.

• Increased funding to the education sector by $1 billion over the next three years, raising the total to $30 billion.

• Reducing student tuition, saving parents and families ~$450 million.

•  Giving grants to students with a family income of less than $50,000.

• Large reforms to social assistance, helping Ontario Workers find employment faster.

• Fighting gun crimes and gun-related violence by investing $16.4 million over two years to create province wide community safety strategy.

• $25 million to the city of Toronto to combat gun violence.

• One-time funding of $200 million to assist 405 municipalities to improve efficiency.

• No carbon tax, instead establishing a $400 million emissions reduction fund.

This is a breaking news article and will be updated.

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Roberto Wakerell-Cruz
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