Ontario Budget 2012: McGuinty Wants Opposition Not To Give Spending Suggestions

CP  |  By Posted: 03/30/2012 12:50 pm Updated: 03/30/2012 3:23 pm

OTTAWA - Premier Dalton McGuinty says he won't consider any new spending suggestions for the budget, even if that means Ontario voters end up going back to the polls.

He says voters don't want another election six months after the last one, but he's willing to campaign on the budget if he has to.

The minority Liberals need one of the opposition parties to support their budget to avoid triggering an election, but the Opposition Conservatives have already said they'll vote against it.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was out mainstreeting this morning in Toronto in an effort to get more feedback on whether her party should support the budget.

The NDP have set up a hotline and say they've received thousands of calls from people who have different opinions about the budget, which aims to eliminate the $15-billion deficit in five years.

A crucial vote on the budget could come as soon as next Thursday, but no later than April 24.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • What's In The Ontario Budget 2012

  • Health Care

    The 2012 Ontario budget freezes pay for doctors, and extends a pay freeze for health care executives. The province will begin means-testing seniors' prescription drugs, paid for under the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, effectively meaning that the 5 per cent wealthiest seniors covered by the plan will have to pay more into the plan. Seniors with incomes over $100,000 and senior couples with combined incomes above $160,000 will be affected. Increases in health care spending will be capped at 2.1 per cent per year.

  • Education

    The budget freezes pay for teachers. A pay freeze for educational executives, already in place, will be extended. School boards in low-population areas will be amalgamated, and "under-utilized" schools will be shut. Student transportation will be cut by $34 million.

  • Senior Citizens

    The province will begin means-testing seniors' prescription drugs, paid for under the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, effectively meaning that the 5 per cent wealthiest seniors covered by the plan will have to pay more into the plan. Seniors with incomes over $100,000 and senior couples with combined incomes above $160,000 will be affected.

  • Social Assistance

    Welfare rates will be frozen and planned increases to the Ontario Child Benefit will be delayed.

  • Taxes

    There are no tax hikes in the 2012 Ontario budget, but it does freeze the corporate tax rate at 11.5 per cent, foregoing planned reductions in the tax rate to 10 per cent. The freeze is expected to save $1.5 billion over three years.

  • Energy

    Ontario will cap the 10 per cent hydro bill rebate at 3,000 kilowatt-hours, a limit high enough that most homes won't be affected, but businesses could be. Reducing the tax credit will save $470 million over three years.

  • Crime & Security

    On top of the four jails the province already plans to close, the budget adds two more to the closure list -- one in Brantford and one in Chatham. Overtime for jail guards and the Ontario Provincial Police will be reduced.

  • Business Initiatives

    Ontario plans to reduce spending on business support programs by $250 million by merging a number of different programs.

  • Gambling & Lotteries

    The province aims to increase revenue by increasing the number of gambling facilities. [Details to come]

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Filed by Michael Bolen  |