Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dalton's Bad Habit:

PC Leader, Finance Critic say McGuinty frittered away $27 billion revenue increase
Fri, 02/27/2009 - 08:00

QUEEN'S PARK – Dalton McGuinty has raked in unprecedented revenue from taxes and federal transfers and has squandered it all, Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Leader John Tory and Ontario PC Finance Critic Tim Hudak (Niagara West-Glanbrook) said today.

“The reality is, Dalton McGuinty has a serious spending problem,” said Tory. “To fritter away $27 billion - a 40 per cent revenue increase - and have nothing set aside for when times got tough is an extraordinary failure of leadership on Dalton McGuinty’s part.”

Added Hudak, “If Dalton McGuinty had increased government spending at a still generous rate of inflation plus population growth, Ontario would have had a $17 billion cushion to reduce taxes or invest in infrastructure during this recession. Instead, we are plunging into a deep deficit."

Tory and Hudak said total government program spending has increased by $28.3 billion or a whopping 48 per cent since 2003. Until this year, program spending grew at an average annual rate of 8 per cent, more than double the average rate of inflation and population growth combined. In 2008 for example, program spending grew by 10.5 per cent, nearly five times the combined rate of inflation and population growth.

“How can Dalton McGuinty possibly claim to have a plan when Ontario’s finances have gone from surplus to record deficit in weeks?” asked Tory. “This government’s inexcusable foot-dragging when it comes to the budget has left Ontarians in the dark about the finances of their own province!”

While Dalton McGuinty drained the Provincial Treasury, Ontario lost 275,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs and finished last or next to last in growth and private sector job creation in Canada.

“If you owned a business that had a 40 percent increase in revenue over five years but you lost some of your most talented staff, you made fewer products and you ended up in the red: wouldn't you fire that manager?,” asked Hudak in the Legislature on Thursday.

“Dalton McGuinty increased spending unsustainably and missed opportunities to make Ontario more competitive. Ontario is in considerably worse shape today because of this,” said Tory.

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