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“New” Ontario Budget 2014

The Liberals re-introduced the budget that caused the “immaculate election of 2014“™  and the ensuing Majority Liberal Government, however, the reactions to this budget have been mixed.

Some of the economic pundits claims the ramifications of this budget is best described in the following video:

While I feel that is a slight over-reaction, I cannot argue that there are some interesting economic items in the budget.

Enough jocularity, the Video is of the demolition of the Sir John Carling Building here in Ottawa (courtesy Fernando Matias ) but when I saw it and then started reading the reactions to the budget I just could not resist mashing them together.

 Real Budget Highlights

So you can read the Budget here (and I strongly suggest you do so, so you are informed).

  • $2.5 Billion dollars over 10 years to create a Job and Prosperity fund
  • $130 billion in public infrastructure over the next 10 years
  • Birth of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan , this is gonna be interesting, the details are a bit thin, but do we need it in Ontario? That remains to be seen. Quebec has a Pension Plan, maybe (or maybe not) Ontario needs one too?
  • Lowering Energy costs in some fashion, but given the amount it has gone up thanks to previous budgets, maybe we needed that?
  • Minimum wage is going up to $11 an hour
  • Balanced budget by 2017 (wow)
  • And more taxes for you rich bourgeoisie who make more than $150K (stop oppressing the proletariat).

The really interesting part was at the end of the highlights section:

Going forward, the government will:Introduce an annual program review savings target of $250 million for 2014–15 and $500 million in each of 2015–16 and 2016–17.

  • Introduce an annual program review savings target of $250 million for 2014–15 and $500 million in each of 2015–16 and 2016–17.
  • Continue the call to freeze the Members of Provincial Parliament’s salaries until the budget is balanced.
  • Directly control the compensation of senior executives in the broader public sector, subject to passage of legislation.
  • Hold the average annual growth in program spending to 1.1 per cent over three years.

This is where the Devil is in the details, freezing MPP’s salary is window dressing, however, “Controlling” the senior Execs compensation could be interesting. What is a Senior Executive? Could make for some interesting discussions, and how are you going to hold growth to 1.1 % without either:

  • Freezing Provincial Civil Servants income (including Teachers)
  • Laying off a large amount of the work force
  • Finding new income sources

I wish Premier Wynne luck on this one, could be quite interesting.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Most of the OPS has been on a wage freeze for years. …And years, and years. Maybe 5? 6? I don’t know how long–can’t remember the last time a ministry employee got any type of increased wage without applying for a vacant higher-up position. We’re certainly not keeping pace with inflation, that’s for sure.
    The majority have also been on a hiring freeze for just as long. I don’t know where all these supposed jobs the Liberals were accused of creating to bloat government happened. Not in any ministry I know of. It’s been my experience that the opposite seems to be happening in the structure–people are retiring and nobody is stepping in to fill their shoes.

    1. Same story in the Federal Gov’t too, lots of “belt tightening”, although we have had small (but no where near inflation) raises. Somehow a Balanced Budget will happen next year, but what “balanced” means, remains to be seen.

  2. Interesting stuff. I am always curious how governments try to organize their budgets. There are so many debates about how and where money should go. I think it can be very insightful on the priorities of the area.

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