Ford government says it's on track to reduce projected deficit to $9 billion

Nov 6 2019, 1:39 pm

On Wednesday, the Ford government released its 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, which revealed the province is on track to reach a lower deficit for the 2019-20 fiscal year as opposed to the much larger shortfall projected in the spring budget.

Ontario’s Finance Minister, Rod Phillips, said the province is making “steady progress” on its plan and it’s projected to beat its deficit target for 2019-2020 by $1.3 million.

This would reduce the overall projected deficit to $9 billion, down from the $10.3 billion deficit that was presented in this year’s 2019 provincial Budget.

“Since taking office 16 months ago, our government has taken steps to strengthen our finances, our economy, and critical public services,” said Minister 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.”

According to the review, the government’s plan is “balanced and prudent” and while making steady progress to reduce the deficit, the province says it’s still investing an additional $1.3 billion in critical services.

This includes more funding for small- and medium-sized hospitals, public health units, childcare, and programs to help Ontario’s most vulnerable.

Additionally, the provincial government says it’s still continuing to attract business investments and boost job creation and since June 2018, 272,400 new jobs have been created and the unemployment rate is near historic lows.

The fiscal review also revealed the government is proposing to reduce the small business Corporate Income Tax rate to 3.2% down from 3.5% beginning on January 1, 2020.

According to the review, this would provide tax relief of up to $1,500 annually to over 275,000 businesses, which includes everything 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,” reads the outlook.

“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 Minister 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.”