Hudak To Premier: Freeze, Fix, Reduce
28 August 2012
“We can’t do what we did for the last nine years.”
- Dalton McGuinty, The National Post, August 28, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario can get through these difficult days and emerge stronger and more prosperous than before, but only if we stop the reckless overspending that’s driving up Ontario’s debt and risking our ability to afford priority programs like health care and education, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak made the comments on the second day of a Legislative session recalled to debate a teachers’ wage bill – brought in because the government has run out of money to throw at their union allies in the name of “labour peace”.
“We will let this legislation pass, and bail this government out of the mess it has created,” Hudak said. “But the Premier needs to learn a lesson from all this: He can’t spend what he doesn’t have. Just as important – we need to focus on what comes next.”
That’s why the Ontario PCs will use the time to push for their three-stage Freeze, Fix, Reduce package to end government overspending and get our fiscal house in order, Hudak said. “We’ve got to slam on the brakes – no more bonuses for 98 per cent of bureaucrats. Start by freezing public sector salaries to save $2 billion annually. That will buy us time to fix the way government works, with fundamental change enabling us to begin reducing spending on a permanent basis.”
So to get the ball rolling, Hudak said, if the government won’t commit to spending less, they’ve got to commit to no new spending in the session ahead: “We can’t afford a repeat of the last two sessions, which saw a budget that increased spending in 14 of 24 Ministries, the 30 per cent tuition grant, the home renovation tax credit, $190 million to cancel a gas plant – and more.
“And if they won’t listen to us, maybe they’ll listen to their hand-picked economist Don Drummond, whose report said the same thing – no new spending. But, of course, the government ignored him too.”
Hudak noted that the credit downgrades being slapped on this government deter investment and job creation – by signaling to businesses that our massive debts – and the cost of servicing them – mean we can’t afford the things that make us an attractive destination for investment.
“So if the Premier won’t commit to reducing spending – will he at least commit not to spending any more?”