Start Over With Real Action to Rein in Spending: Hudak
02 October 2012
QUEEN’S PARK: If job creators are going to have confidence to invest in Ontario they need to see a plan of action to rein in spending – starting with ballooning government-union salaries and benefits, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
“We can’t support the government’s proposal because it fails to address the problems of unaffordable government-union contracts,” Hudak said. “It doesn’t get the job done. The government has kicked the can down the road on the need to take urgent action to address their made-in-Ontario debt and jobs crisis.
“The government’s announcement digs Ontario into a deeper fiscal hole and puts it on the path toward a $30-billion deficit. It does nothing to reassure 600,000 unemployed Ontarians that the government has an integrated and comprehensive plan to turn the economy around and help people find work,” Hudak added.
The government’s proposals amount to extending a lease on overspending because wage restrictions wouldn’t take effect for several years until current labour contracts expire. Some contracts, like those signed with unions representing the TTC, OPG and MPAC, are locked in place until as late as 2014-2015. What’s more, 98 per cent of managers who received bonuses last year will still be eligible to receive them this year. And the arbitration proposals once again fail to take into consideration the taxpayers’ ability to pay.
Hudak said the government knows what it must do to win the PCs’ support to find much needed savings. “My colleagues and I have been clear. We need a wage freeze now and not in 2015. We want the government to adopt an immediate, legislated, across-the-board wage freeze that would last for at least two years with no exceptions, no excuses and no work term giveaways.”
The PC measure would save taxpayers $2-billion annually by freezing all wages, bonuses and movement through salary grids. Recognizing the need to foster a job-creating environment, the PCs brought forward their Ability to Pay Act. It’s the latest Freeze. Fix. Reduce. idea to reform the broken arbitration system which is responsible for driving up government-union salaries to unaffordable heights.
Hudak concluded “we are prepared to be part of genuine solutions that put Ontario on a path toward job creation. But the government’s inadequate response simply doesn’t cut it. They need to look at the PC proposals to rebuild Ontario’s economy.”