No Sign of Significant Debt Reduction or Tax Relief in Ford’s Spring 2023 Budget – It’s All Spend, Spend, Spend!
— Published on July 5, 2023
- As several analyses from the Fraser Institute have shown, since its election in 2018 Doug Ford’s government has maintained higher spending levels than the previous government of Kathleen Wynne. Further, these studies have shown that the rate of spending growth has been faster under Premier Ford than it was under Premier Wynne.
- Budget 2023 confirms that the government plans to continue spending at elevated levels compared with the Wynne era over the course of the rest of its fiscal plan. In the current fiscal year (2023/24), the government forecasts program spending per person will be $12,405. If it had held inflation-adjusted per-person spending to the average over the course of the Wynne era, this figure would be $11,784 as it was under Wynne.
- If the Ford government had held spending to Wynne-era levels, it would have created sufficient fiscal room to deliver on previous key commitments to debt reduction and tax relief.
- If the government had not increased spending from Wynne-era levels, it would be projecting an operating surplus of $8.2 billion this year instead of a deficit of $1.3 billion.
- One option for the Ford government that would have left Ontario with the same operating deficit that it has today would have been to implement substantial tax relief. For example, the government could have reduced the HST rate by more than two percentage points or reduced income taxes by $888 per tax filer.
- Ford’s government has prioritized higher spending instead of using the savings from the spending restraint it promised, and it has not delivered on its earlier commitments of debt reduction and tax relief.
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