Ontario’s Budget: Fodder ?

So was the McGuinty 2012 Liberal budget a bit of fodder or does it really have a goal?

After reading over the government’s information, there are some interesting points to watch and see if they follow through:

  • …$4.9 billion in planned savings from removing overlap and duplication, implementing more efficient delivery models and focusing on core business…“, so there is a bunch of duplication of services out there that can be slashed away? I’d be very curious to see the specifics on that one.
  • … $6 billion in government actions to restrain compensation for school boards, payments to physicians and others in the public sector…“, so how the “Education Premier” lines this up with his “Pro Education” stance I am not sure.
  • Pay Freezes for MPPs, Execs at Hospitals, Universities and other places. I think the MPP pay freeze is an important bit of “optics” that they need to try to sell this austerity budget.

I would strongly suggest you read through the Government’s literature, it is worth reading over once to see if you are directly affected by this (and you most likely are).

Why?

That is the question that pops into my head. If this was a majority government, I would say it is the typical McGuinty trick of giving voters all the “bad medicine” at the beginning of their mandate, so you might forget later, but this is still a Minority government (only 1 or 2 votes short of a majority, so an interesting Minority, but still a minority).

So my guesses on this are the following:

  1. The Ontario Liberals think that the voters have “punished” them already, so if they push and get another election soon, they might get a majority this time? The argument would be, “we didn’t want this election, sorry, remember we are the good guys”.
  2. McGuinty has a “turncoat” in the wings ready to come across (ensuring a majority) and thus this is the normal “front loading” of bad news from the Ontario Government. Note they didn’t implement the wholesale cuts recommended by the Drummond Report, so that seems to have been a well placed red herring as well.

Either way, it looks like Ontario politics continues on, whether this budget actually comes to pass will be an interesting story. Any other possibilities I might have missed?

We await the “Harper Government Budget 2012” as well, but in the Federal Government’s case, they can use as big a stick as they want to bash the heck out of the Government Infrastructure (in general) and Civil Servants (in specific).

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