ONTARIO Finance Minister Rod Phillips on Wednesday released the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: A Plan to Build Ontario Together — which maintains the government’s commitment to balance the budget by 2023-24 through prudent fiscal management while making strategic investments in critical public services, and strengthening the conditions for job creation.
The government claimed it was making steady progress on its plan. Phillips announced that the government is projected to beat its deficit target for 2019-20 by $1.3 billion — reducing the projected deficit to $9 billion from the $10.3 billion outlook presented in the 2019 Budget.
The previous administration not only left the province with the largest subnational debt in the world, but also some daunting challenges including hallway health care, transit and roads that are heavily congested and government services that are inefficient and outdated., the government claimed.
“Since taking office 16 months ago, our government has taken steps to strengthen our finances, our economy and critical public services,” said Phillips. “Solving these challenges has not been about grand gestures, but rather the practical and meaningful actions that help make life easier and more affordable for people, like reducing taxes, investing in health care and education, and building modern transit and roads.”
The government said its plan is balanced and prudent. While making steady progress to reduce the deficit, it is investing an additional $1.3 billion in critical services. This includes more funding for small- and medium-sized hospitals, public health units, child care and programs to help our most vulnerable.
At the same time, the government is creating a climate to support and attract business investment and job creation across the province. In the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review the government is proposing to reduce the small business Corporate Income Tax rate to 3.2 per cent from 3.5 per cent beginning on January 1, 2020. This would provide tax relief of up to $1,500 annually to over 275,000 businesses — from family-owned shops to innovative start-ups.
As a result of government actions to date, Ontario’s small businesses would save $2.3 billion in 2020.
“We believe the role of government is to enable the opportunity for a better quality of life and a higher standard of living for all of our citizens,” said Phillips. “By implementing our plan we are stimulating job creation, putting more money in people’s pockets, making our streets safer, our commutes shorter and our government smarter.”
- The government is forecasting a $1.3 billion improvement to its 2019 Budget deficit projection for 2019-20, to $9 billion from $10.3 billion.
- Ontario is proposing to reduce the small business Corporate Income Tax rate to 3.2 per cent from 3.5 per cent starting January 1, 2020.
- The government is taking steps to end hallway health care with a $68 million investment in small- and medium-sized and multi-site hospitals to help maintain critical capacity and respond to increased demand in communities across the province. This is in addition to the $384 million that was announced in the 2019 Budget.
- 272,400 net new jobs have been created since June 2018 and the unemployment rate is near historic lows.
- The Province is also proposing to reduce the aviation fuel tax rate in the North to 2.7 cents per litre from 6.7 cents per litre.