Jun 04, 2019
By Jane Brown
The Doug Ford Progressive Conservatives are being called out for replicating the failed Dalton McGuinty approach to balancing the Ontario budget.
A report just released by the Fraser Institute says the new Ontario government’s plan to rely largely on increased revenue, not spending reductions to balance the budget, resembles similar unsuccessful plans by past Ontario governments.
The study by the self-professed independent non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank finds that the 2019 budget virtually mirrors the budgets of former Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty.
The authors say as an example, McGuinty’s 2011 budget increased program spending by 1.4 percent, close to the 1 percent increase planned in the 2019 budget. And likewise, the 2019 budget, which forecasts returning to balance in five years, reduces the deficit by $2.4 billion dollars annually over the next five years. They say that’s nearly the same average annual amount achieved by the McGuinty government from 2011 to 2016.
But senior policy analyst Steve Lafleur says these go slow approaches are risky and often don’t come to fruition because they rely on forces beyond the government’s control, such as continued revenue growth and are easily derailed by an economic slowdown or recession.