Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

How much money did Doug Ford put back in your pockets?

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar25,2024

How much money does Doug Ford have put back in your pockets?

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So far, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has remained rather silent on the content of his next budget , which will be filed on Tuesday. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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Since 2022, the Ford government has insisted that it is relieving the wallets of Ontarians in multiple ways. But do the measures put in place by the Progressive Conservatives translate into substantial savings for all citizens? As the tabling of the provincial budget approaches, Radio-Canada released its calculator.

This is the average amount saved since the government Ford has decided to reduce the provincial gas tax in 2022. A reduction of 5.7 cents per litre. But be careful, the province's estimates represent the average savings amount for all households in the province.

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The reduction in the provincial gas tax has already been extended several times.

The savings will obviously be greater if a family owns several cars and travels a long distance annually. They will be practically zero if you don't drive.

In recent weeks, the Ontario Minister of Finance has suggested that he could announce in his budget an extension of this rebate at the pump, which for the moment is scheduled to end on June 30. Stay tuned, repeat the Prime Minister and his minister, Peter Bethlenfalvy.

If you are used to driving on highways 412 or 418 , east of Toronto, you've been saving since April 2022, when the government decided to eliminate tolls. Ontario is depriving itself of revenues that will total $68 million by 2027.

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As a motorist, the more you drive, the greater your savings will be. More than 2 million vehicles traveled on Highway 412* and some 733,000 on Highway 418*.

* from April 1, 2022 to June 1 2023

Another gift (pre-election and retroactive) from the Ford government offered, again, to motorists: the end of sticker fees for license plates. An annual saving of $120 for car owners in the south of the province and $60 in the North.

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Ontario has removed stickers from license plates registration.

Since eliminating these fees, the average motorist has saved between $300 and $600. Progressive Conservatives say nearly 8 million vehicle owners have received refunds.

If the majority of measures announced since 2022 have mainly favored motorists, the government recently had a little thought for public transport users.

After many delays, the introduction of the single fare has finally come into effect in the Greater Toronto Area: a user now only has to pay only once even if he uses different public transport services.

Up to $1,600 in savings annually for an adult who commutes five days a week, according to government calculations.

It doesn't x27;this is not a saving, but a wage increase for all Ontarians who work at minimum wage. The government increased it from $15.50 to $16.55 an hour on October 1. For someone working 40 hours a week, that’s an annual increase of about $2,200.

The increase is welcome, but several organizations believe that we are still far from the viable wage, that is to say a decent salary to live on. The Ontario Living Wage Network estimates this optimal wage at $25 in the Greater Toronto Area and almost $20 in the northern part of the province, for example.

This is the enhancement of the guaranteed annual income plan (RRAG), a provincial program intended for low-income seniors. The government temporarily doubled payments in 2023 and then from July 2024, the program will also be expanded to allow around 100,000 more people to access it.

Faced with popular pressure, the Progressive Conservatives also increased the benefits of the Ontario Disability Support Program by 5%, in addition to x27;introduce legislation to link annual increases to inflation.

Will other measures be introduced in the government's 2024 budget? Until now, the Ontario premier has remained relatively silent about the content of his budget. Doug Ford keeps the suspense going, but he's already talking about a rather balanced exercise.

As the budget submission, scheduled for Tuesday, approaches, pressure groups are presenting their wish lists. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, for example, would like the government to announce personal tax reductions. An electoral promise that dates back to 2018, but that Doug Ford never delivered.

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Peter Bethlenfalvy (left) will present his fourth provincial budget as Minister of Finance.

A tax cut would be crucial for families, emphasizes spokesperson Jay Goldberg. According to the Federation's calculations, a tax cut for middle-class workers would mean $786 more in their pockets each year.

These are measures that the government has refused to announce, but measures that it should take.

A quote from Jay Goldberg, spokesperson for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

At Progress Toronto, we is also holding its breath before the tabling of the 2024 budget. The Toronto organization hopes that the government will take the opportunity to attack the roots of poverty.

The measures [announced recently] are temporary solutions. It feels good to have an extra $200 in your pocket, but it's not enough to move you away from the poverty line, says executive director Saman Tabasinejad.

Progress Toronto calls in particular for the return of universal rent control.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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