The Ontario New Democrats say they will pay businesses up to $5,000 for each new hire for one year if they are elected in this fall's election.
Leader Andrea Horwath announced the so-called job creation tax credit Friday morning while visiting a training centre for sheet metal workers in Oakville, west of Ontario.
The NDP plan applies only to new employees. Only for-profit businesses are eligible, and they would have to provide on-the-job training to qualify.
The party estimates the plan will create 20,000 jobs a year and cost $100 million annually over four years.
The credit would be capped at $100,000 per company per year to make sure big businesses aren't disproportionately rewarded, Horwath said.
"Unlike the Liberal plan, our plan will apply to all new hires," she said.
"Our solution will increase the number of jobs available for everyone — men, women, new Canadians or young people — anyone who needs work."
Horwath was referring to the Liberal pledge to provide a tax credit to businesses that hire immigrants to their first jobs.
Liberals, Tories criticize plan
The Liberals in a release attacked the NDP pledge as "poorly thought out."
“Horwath’s NDP is scrambling, promising a $400 million off the cuff, out of left field pledge that wasn’t accounted for in their disappointing platform. They’re making it up as they go along,” Liberal Dwight Duncan said in a statement.
The Progressive Conservatives were also quick to cast doubt on the NDP proposal, saying it doesn't tackle the problems that have caused companies to eliminate jobs.
"To me, we're the only ones with a plan to create jobs," said Vic Fedeli, the Tory candidate for the northern riding of Nipissing. He cited the Tories' promises to cut red tape for businesses in northern Ontario and reduce the corporate tax rate to 10 per cent.
Voters go to the polls Oct. 6.