McGuinty Overspending Puts The Things We Value At Risk: Hudak
13 August 2012
“Our ability to curb our debt addiction is the biggest test faced by Western democracies today. This is more than a financial problem. It’s a moral problem. We have broken our social contract with the generations that come after us, and it’s our duty to restore it.”
- Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail, June 21, 2012
WATERLOO – Ontario can do better, but right now we’re headed in the wrong direction after nine years of reckless overspending that has left Ontario in a deep financial hole – putting at risk the things people in Kitchener-Waterloo care about, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak’s comments followed an Ontario PC Jobs and Our Economy tour of DC Foods in Waterloo.
“We all want an Ontario with the best health care, education and infrastructure, and a vibrant economy that creates jobs and opportunity,” Hudak said. “But we can only have these things if we get our fiscal house in order and our economic fundamentals right.”
Yet this government has taken a struggling economy and made it worse through its bad decisions, such as policies leading to skyrocketing hydro rates and punitive taxes on businesses, Hudak said. “As a result of its overspending, annual debt interest charges are $10 billion, third only as an expenditure behind health care and education, and because interest rates are at historic lows, this number has nowhere to go but up. This staggering public debt – now headed for $411 billion – puts at risk all the things we most value.”
Debt matters, KW by-election PC candidate Tracey Weiler said, because it impedes our ability to afford valued public services and create jobs: “Huge debts are bad for job creation, because they tell businesses and investors that we can’t afford the things that make us attractive, like low taxes and good infrastructure.”
But just as worrisome, Hudak emphasized, the recent taxing-and-overspending Liberal budget resulted in an immediate credit downgrade, leaving us vulnerable to an increase in interest rates. “Each one per cent hike in rates now would cost us half a billion dollars. “This would be money robbed from things people really care about, like health care and education.”
Right here in Kitchener-Waterloo, for example, our fiscal mess has resulted in the government’s continued stalling over the Highway 7 project – which would be a major regional commercial and commuter artery, Hudak noted. The necessary funding has been lost to politically-motivated costs such as the $190 million Mississauga gas plant cancellation and the vast waste of taxpayer dollars on Ornge and e-Health, he added.
Ontario is at a tipping point and we need urgent action now, Hudak said. “The Ontario PC Party alone offers a bold and comprehensive plan to deal with this government’s reckless overspending and kick start job growth. We are the only Party that can keep the McGuinty government from taking Ontario down the wrong track.
“We propose a real, mandatory public sector wage freeze, more affordable energy, modernized labour laws and reducing the regulatory burden on businesses, to name just a few,” Hudak concluded. “It’s the only way to ensure Ontarians can afford the things we want and need.”