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Statement By Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty On 2012 Budget

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Statement By Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty On 2012 Budget

Office of the Premier

Today Premier Dalton McGuinty released the following statement:

"Balancing the budget is essential to creating jobs and growing the economy. Our five-year plan to balance the budget will keep our economy on track while protecting health care and education.

The budget plan presented to Ontarians did include ideas put forward by both opposition parties.

The PCs, led by Tim Hudak, proposed a very low rate of growth in government spending. The budget proposes only one per cent annual increases in spending over the next three years, and seeks a real wage freeze for our doctors, teachers and other public servants.

The NDP, led by Andrea Horwath, proposed a freeze on corporate income taxes. Our budget proposes to freeze corporate income taxes at 11.5 per cent.

Before the budget was tabled, I informed both opposition leaders that in keeping with Ontarians' expectations we would consider changes to make the budget even better.

The PCs abandoned Ontarians from the outset. They decided to vote against the budget before they even read it, risking an unnecessary and expensive election.

The NDP have shown a willingness to work across party lines to reach an agreement. We've been working hard with the NDP to better understand their proposals. Since the beginning of those discussions, we've been clear that while we can shift funding from one priority to another, we will not consider any new unsustainable spending.

Today I spoke with Ms. Horwath about these discussions and indicated a willingness to work together to reach an agreement.

I confirmed that we are taking action to make our budget stronger in two areas: child care and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

These steps can be taken within the government's fiscal plan and by finding savings in less important programs.

To ensure the child care sector remains strong and can help families experience a seamless transition to full-day kindergarten, we will provide additional assistance to child care operators.

The additional funding will give new support to the child care sector and is found within the Ministry of Education's existing budget allocation.

We will further cut the price the government pays for the most popular generic drugs, generating enough savings to raise Ontario Disability Support Payments by one per cent.

Over the weekend, we'll continue to analyze how else we may be able to work together to make the budget stronger.

I've asked Ms. Horwath to meet on Monday and have requested that she come prepared, on behalf of her party and caucus, to reach an agreement."

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