Ontario Alternative Budget 2004-05 recaptures public initiative, provides resources to meet Ontario's needs

May 10, 2004

TORONTO--The 2004-05 Ontario Alternative Budget advocates new investments of $14.7 billion over four years to address the serious decline in the state of Ontario's public services.

"The public services we built over generations are at a point of real danger," states economist Hugh Mackenzie, co-chair of the OAB working group, "The basics we used to take for granted -- clean water, abundant energy -- have been found wanting."

According to the Ontario Alternative Budget document, Real change; real choices: Investing in the services Ontario needs -- and paying for them, Ontario cannot begin to redress the damage caused to its public economy in the Harris-Eves years without dealing with the destruction of this province's fiscal capacity that accompanied it. Thanks to the tax cuts, the province no longer has the fiscal capacity to pay for the services we need.

To address the growing crisis the OAB proposes a balanced package of revenue measures including: restoration of the corporate tax rate regime that prevailed in 2000; a targeted partial roll-back of the personal income tax cuts implemented since 1996, based on ability to pay; harmonization of the provincial corporate income tax system with the federal corporate tax system, eliminating approximately $1 billion in expensive Ontario-only loopholes; reform of the employer health tax to eliminate costly exemptions and loopholes and to tie tax rates to health care costs.

"Much of the additional fiscal capacity we need can be recovered by stabilizing corporate income tax rates that should never have been cut in the first place," asserts Kira Heineck, co-chair of the OAB working group.

For more information:
Kerri-Anne Finn 613-563-1341 x306