McGuinty's Overspending Worst in Canada: Scott
21 August 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Dalton McGuinty’s overspending is the worst in Canada and, as a result, Ontario will balance its budget three years after every other province, Ontario PC MPP Laurie Scott said today.
“Despite repeated claims of austerity, the McGuinty Liberals compounded the problem with a budget that failed to reduce spending,” Scott said. “In fact, as a result of nine years of reckless overspending, things are worse, not better, with a debt load set to triple by 2017,” Scott added.
It’s been five months since Finance Minister Dwight Duncan delivered his budget, which added fuel to the fire and increased spending in 14 of 24 different ministries, representing nearly 80 per cent of total government spending. Despite receiving over $3-billion in equalization, Ontario’s current deficit is three times the size of the rest of Canada combined.
As evidence, Dalton McGuinty has increased spending by $8.5 billion in the Ministry of Education, despite declining student enrollment since 2003. At the same time the Premier was ending the fall report card for parents, the Liberals gave away the store to the teachers’ union with a 30 per cent pay increase. Teachers now make double the average Ontarian earns. This is unsustainable. It’s not confined to this one ministry.
“The result of all this reckless spending is that the things we care about are now at risk – things like quality health care, classroom education, and dependable roads, highways and bridges,” Scott added.
Immediately after the budget, the province’s credit rating was downgraded, which further deters already wary investors from coming to Ontario and creating jobs,” Scott said. “Nearly 600,000 Ontarians are out of work. We’ve lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs under this government, while Ontario has added 300,000 bureaucratic government jobs to the swollen public-sector payroll.”
That’s why in order to reduce our debt and prevent yet another credit downgrade we need an integrated and comprehensive approach. Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Caucus know Ontario can and will do better. They have consistently put positive ideas on the table to grow the economy and create private-sector jobs including tax relief for job creators, treating energy as a cornerstone of economic growth, reining in overspending with an across the board legislated public-sector wage freeze for all public-sector employees.
“While the Liberals were busy voting against a genuine PC wage freeze bill last May, they were doling out millions in bonuses for bureaucrats,” Scott noted. “Dalton McGuinty needs to be sent a clear message: The people of Ontario say it’s time to stop overspending and focus on job creation,” Scott concluded.