By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, November 8, 2013
Ontario Liberals won’t worry about $11.7B deficit if economy slows
Ontario is on track to eliminate the $11.7-billion deficit in the next four years without worrying about cutting programs, Finance Minister Charles Sousa said today.
The Liberal government is prioritizing investments in jobs before meeting “short term targets” to balance the province’s books.
“Stronger economic growth and new jobs are the surest, fairest path to higher revenues and a balanced budget,” said Sousa in this year’s fall economic statement.
Sousa added that the uncertain and slow recovery from the global recession has led to $5 billion less in projected provincial revenues since 2010.
The province has revised its estimates of economic growth downward because of the U.S. government shutdown and more modest exports from Ontario. Souza now assumes real GDP growth will be 1.3 per cent in 2013 and 2.1 per cent in 2014.
He said the gloomier economic picture did not affect the deficit forecast.
Earlier Thursday at a Toronto conference on public-private jobs in Toronto, Premier Kathleen Wynne said the Liberals were not relenting on their goal to cut the deficit.
“It’s not that we are saying we’re abandoning that and we’re going to now just spend and invest,” she said. “We’re the leanest government in the country. We need to continue to make sure that we control spending in a rational way, but I am determined that we are not going to cut and slash the services that people need.” (Source: CBC News)