Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

What to expect from Doug Ford's government's mid-term budget?

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar26,2024

The Prime Minister promised a “rather balanced” budget, without specifying what that means.

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<p class=Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy will present his fourth budget on Tuesday.

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Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

Doug Ford's government presents Tuesday his 2024 budget, the second since his re-election.

The Progressive Conservatives have already spilled the beans a bit by confirming that the reduction in the provincial gas tax will be maintained until December 31, 2024. This rebate at the pump of 5.7 cents per liter ( 5.3 cents per liter for diesel) has been in effect since July 1, 2022 and has been extended several times.

According to the government, this measure will save households $320 on average over a period of two and a half years.

According to CBC sources, there would also be measures in this budget to regulate auto insurance. On this, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy acknowledged that we need to offer more choice to drivers, but did not want to clarify his thoughts.

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Ontarians, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area, pay some of the highest premiums in Canada.

Prime Minister Doug Ford and his Minister of Finance repeat, for the rest, that there will be no tax increase, that the The government's goal is to put money back in the pockets of Ontarians and continue to build the province's economy.

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As is tradition, the Minister of Finance went to get a new pair of shoes before the budget. Peter Bethlenfalvy chose work boots this year.

Will the budget still be in deficit? Doug Ford spoke of a rather balanced exercise, without offering more details.

In its previous budget, the province projected a deficit of $1.3 billion for 2023-2024, with a return to balance this year – a deadline then pushed back by at least a year in the next year. fall economic statement. During an update on the province's finances in February, Peter Bethlenfalvy predicted that Ontario would end this fiscal year with a deficit of $4.5 billion.

After its defeat in court, the government also continues to compensate public sector workers in connection with Law 124, which capped their salary increases. In total, the compensation could cost more than $13 billion, according to the Financial Accountability Office.

At Queen's Park on Monday, the parties of opposition have rolled out their lists of priorities for this budget.

The impact of a measure like reducing the gas tax remains marginal, according to Liberal MP Ted Hsu, who would like the government to tackle the rising cost of living head-on. A tax reduction also benefits gasoline producers because they can raise the price, he argues.

For Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner, if the province really wants to help people get around at a lower cost, it should help Ontarians have access to an electric vehicle and invest more in public transportation, in fares and network reliability.

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According to Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party, the Ontario government should help Ontarians have access to an electric vehicle. (Archive photo)

Mike Schreiner adds that to help people save, the government could offer energy efficiency incentives.

This government talks a lot about carbon pricing. But he doesn't talk about how we could retrofit homes to help people save money by conserving energy or how we could invest in making public transportation more affordable. , he said.

NDP, Liberals and Greens agree on other points: Ford government must set ambitious targets for affordable housing, say opposition parties. They are also calling for significant investments in basic services, health and education.

With information from Mathieu Simard

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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 1-800-268-7116

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