Ontario Releases 2008-09 Public Accounts
Global Economic Downturn Causes Steep Decline In Corporate Income Tax Returns
Today's release of the 2008-09 Public Accounts of Ontario highlights the McGuinty government's proven track record of disciplined financial management and accountability.
This past year, the global economy entered into a crisis unseen since the 1930s. Countries and jurisdictions around the world have experienced the challenges presented by the global economic crisis.
As a result of the global economic downturn, Ontario saw a 0.5 per cent contraction in its real gross domestic product in 2008 and a sharp decrease in the province's taxation revenues, mainly due to lower corporate tax revenues. As a result, Ontario had a deficit of $6.4 billion for 2008-09.
- In 2008-09, corporate tax revenues decreased by 48.1 per cent, the largest year-over-year revenue decrease in recent history.
- Despite pressures on spending, the government kept total spending to $96.9 billion, an increase of only 0.37 per cent from the previous year.
- In the last five months of fiscal 2008-09 year, the government saved $111 million by slowing or delaying the implementation of new spending and restraining internal government expenditures, exceeding the target by three per cent.
- Ontario's spending per resident on "general government services," including administration costs, was the second lowest among provincial governments in 2008-09, according to Statistics Canada data. At $134 per resident, Ontario's spending per resident was 28 per cent below the $185 average of other provincial governments.
- The Public Accounts of Ontario present the financial statements of the province, provide financial highlights of the past fiscal year and report on performance against the goals set out in the Budget.
“As the global economic situation unfolded, Ontario responded quickly and strategically, making key investments to help families and communities, stimulate the economy and provide strategic support for major industries," said Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. "We have been disciplined in the management of the province's finances and in our fiscal targets, recording our lowest year-over-year growth in spending in eight years.”
“There will continue to be challenges in the months ahead," Duncan added. "The most important thing we can do at this time is improve our economic competitiveness. Our proposed comprehensive tax package would make Ontario more attractive for new business investment, create jobs and increase prosperity for all Ontarians.”