Apr 11, 2019

By Christine Ross

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“No new tax increase,” said  Provincial Finance Minsiter Vic Fedeli as he delivered his government’s first budget. Fedeli says the fiscal blueprint, a record $163.4 billion dollars, will balance the province’s books in five years and not within the Conservatives four-year mandate. Fedeli says the Conservatives have managed to cut the deficit to $11.7-billion  which is $3.3-billion less since they assumed power.  After the next election in 20-23/24, the province says it’ll cut spending by just under 4-billion  leaving it with a surplus of $300-million. Reaction has been mixed. Laura Tamblyn Watts of CARP says “it was not as much of  hair cut as many people thought.” She told Zoomer Radio news a change to the estate administration tax was a nice surprise. And she says offering free dental care for low income seniors will help with access particularly in rural communities.  Among the highlights for Zoomers:

*Free dental care for low-income seniors 

*Hospital spending is increasing by 2% or 384-million. The Ontario Hospital Association had requested about 3.5

*An additional $267-million for home care and community care

*Creation of 15,000 new long-term care beds and refurbish an additional 15,000 older ones

*Cuts to post-secondary spending by roughly $400-million from just over $12-billion to $11.7-billion three years from now

*Families with incomes of up to $150,000 will receive childcare support in the form of a new tax credit retroactive to this past January.  On average  eligible families will receive about $1,250 dollars in new support

*Effective next January, the estate administration tax will be eliminated for all estates with assets of $50,000 or less. Those worth more will see the tax reduced by 250-dollars

*Tailgating in parks or other designated public areas. Bars, restaurants and golf courses will be allowed to serve alcohol staring at 9 am every day and the government will consult on extending the hours even further

* Trillium logo  revamped and blue licence plates will feature the new slogan ”A Place to Grow” Both of these changes cost a total of $500,000 

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