Ontario Releases 2017-18 Third Quarter Finances
Province Continues to Project a Balanced Budget in 2017-18
Today Ontario released the 2017-18 Third Quarter Finances, which confirm the government is on track to balance the budget this year while making investments in the programs and services people and families rely on most.
Projections in the report include:
- Total revenue of $150.1 billion, up $115 million from the 2017 Budget forecast
- Program expense of $137.4 billion, up $215 million from the 2017 Budget forecast
- Interest on debt expense of $12.2 billion, unchanged from the 2017 Budget forecast
Key expense changes include increased funding for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), responding to greater demand following the earliest launch of OSAP applications ever. More than 210,000 full-time university and college students are currently receiving free tuition after major changes were made by the government to ensure that the opportunity to attend a college or university is based on a student's potential, not their ability to pay.
While Ontario's economy has shown steady growth, including leading the G7 in GDP growth in recent years, the government knows that more must be done to encourage increased growth and ensure that the benefits of a growing economy are shared fairly across the province.
There are a number of risks that could affect Ontario's economic outlook which the government is currently monitoring, including global economic growth, rising interest rates and potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Further details on the outlook for the Ontario economy and the province's fiscal plan will be presented in the 2018 Budget.
Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The Ontario Quarterly Finances contains updated information about Ontario's fiscal outlook for the current fiscal year, including the major components of revenue and expense as set out in the 2017 Budget.
- Private-sector forecasters, on average, have estimated that Ontario real GDP increased by 2.9 per cent in 2017.
“Our plan to create more fairness and opportunity is helping many Ontario families get ahead, but we know there is more work to do. We recognize the challenges of an uncertain global economy including ongoing NAFTA negotiations, US corporate tax reductions, the slowing down in household spending and further constraints in consumer debt from rising interest rates. Despite this uncertainty, we remain committed to investing in programs like OHIP+, and free tuition, while reducing small business taxes to ensure fairness and opportunity for all.”