04/15/2015 01:26 EDT | Updated 06/25/2015 01:59 EDT

Ontario auto insurance rates down, but a long way from Liberal target

TORONTO - Ontario's finance minister says auto insurance rates in Ontario have declined seven per cent since 2013 — less than halfway to meeting a Liberal government promise in four months.

The Liberals promised to cut rates by an average of 15 per cent from where they were in the summer of 2013 by this August.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa says he hopes that target can still be achieved and he is "committed" to reaching 15 per cent.

Sousa says provisions in a bill that fights fraud and abuse in the auto insurance system have only recently kicked in and will help achieve further rate reductions.

Progressive Conservative critic Vic Fedeli says the 15-per-cent target was originally promised by the previous minority Liberal government to win NDP support for their budget and they never had a plan for how to actually achieve it.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says Liberal policies "feather the nests" of the auto insurance industry while leaving drivers to pay among the highest rates in the country.