Ontario spends about nine per cent of all revenue on government debt-service payments.
A nominal total spending freeze would mean annual reductions in inflation-adjusted per-person spending of about three per cent.
Despite Premier Ford’s rhetoric, government spending in Ontario will still be up markedly this year.
The government’s operating deficit now stands at $14.5 billion—only half a billion less than the pre-update status quo.
Deficits and debts are not free money—they come at a cost.
If Queen’s Park reduces spending by $5 billion, it could eliminate two-thirds of the provincial deficit.
The federal deficit is now about $19 billion.
Government-sector employees in Ontario are paid approximately 13 per cent more than comparable private-sector workers.
If the government exercises spending restraint, it can eliminate Ontario’s $15 billion deficit in roughly three years.
Since 1990-91, the province has run deficits 20 out of 27 years.