Apr 30, 2014

By Scott Walker

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Ontario’s Ministry of Finance isn’t commenting on a possible leak of some of the details of tomorrow’s budget.

The leak is said to come from a cabinet document that suggests Finance Minister Charles Sousa will raise taxes on people making more than $150,000 a year. It says the government will also raise taxes on tobacco products and aviation fuel.

Revenue from the tax hikes will raise $29-billion over ten years to pay for the Scarborough subway extension and other transit and infrastructure projects.

The same leak has good news for some of the lowest-paid public servants in the province. Personal support workers who help seniors stay in their homes will see their hourly wage hiked from $12.50 an hour to $16.50.

The news will likely cause more condemnation from the opposition Conservatives. Tory leader Tim Hudak has already dismissed the new Ontario Pension Plan as a payroll tax that will kill jobs in the province. But Premier Kathleen Wynne says the her government feels it has an obligation to go ahead with a made-in-Ontario  plan because Ottawa refuses to increase the Canada Pension Plan.

The Conservatives have already said they will vote against tomorrow’s budget. But a tax on upper-income Ontarians will likely appeal to the NDP. The Liberals need their support to pass the budget and stay in power.

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