Ontario Focused On Jobs And The Economy
Province Remains On Track To Meet Fiscal Targets
The government's proposed Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit would enable Ontario seniors to stay in their homes longer, benefit taxpayers by relieving pressures on long-term care home costs and help create jobs and grow the economy.
Effective October 1, 2011, and worth up to $1,500 per year, the tax credit would support about $800 million in home renovation activity and around 10,500 jobs in Ontario each year. The cost of the proposed tax credit would be offset by savings in other areas so that fiscal targets would continue to be met.
Despite lower projections for economic growth, Ontario remains on track to meet its fiscal targets projected in the 2011 Budget while still protecting health care and education. This includes a $16.0 billion deficit in 2011-12 and steadily declining deficits of $15.2 billion in 2012-13 and $13.3 billion in 2013-14, as outlined in the balanced budget plan.
Confronted with the challenge of providing world-class public services and a balanced budget in a time of slow economic growth, the government set a target in the 2011 Budget of holding growth in overall program spending to 1.4 per cent. Given the current global economic uncertainty, the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services, chaired by Don Drummond, is expected to recommend that the target for spending growth should be one per cent. The government will consider this and other advice as it prepares the 2012 Budget.
- Since the low point of the global recession in May 2009, employment in Ontario has increased by 266,800 net new jobs, equal to nearly half of all the new jobs created in Canada. The vast majority of net job gains over the past two years are among employees who receive above-average wages.
- The province's unemployment rate has fallen from a peak of 9.4 per cent during the recession to 8.1 per cent in October 2011. Ontario has regained all jobs lost during the recession, while the US has regained only a quarter of their lost jobs.
- Over the last eight months, the global economy has seen a widespread, downward shift in projections for growth. When the 2011 Budget was published, the average private-sector forecast for Ontario's real GDP growth was 2.6 per cent for this year. More recent projections are forecasting growth of just 2.0 per cent.
“Slower economic growth in the United States and continued volatility in Europe are making people in Ontario anxious. That is why we are focused on job creation while returning Ontario's budget to balance and protecting the gains we have made together in our schools and hospitals. Despite global economic uncertainty, we have a prudent and responsible plan to meet the new challenges we face.”