Ontario: The Doug Ford government has presented the most expensive budget in Ontario’s history. The $204 billion budget does not have any new funding for Ontario residents struggling with inflation, nor has any funds been set aside for Covid-19.
It has been replaced by a huge amount for projects like construction of highways but details have not been shared as to how the amount will be spent.
The government plans to balance the budget by next year, three years ahead of schedule, keeping an eye on income.
The 186-page budget set aside $25 billion to spend over the next 10 years in the name of Building Ontario. All of this is part of the amount to be spent on planned infrastructure with the help of $ 184 billion over the next decade.
It has also earmarked funds for the construction of new highways, such as Highway 413, but the government has not provided an estimate of the expenditure incurred on the construction of the highway.
The government is also determined to balance the budget. The government fears a $1.3 billion deficit this fiscal year, but expects to save an additional $200 million as Ontario’s budget balances from next year.
It was rated on a strong financial record by Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, “Although an atmosphere of instability still persists, we are moving towards fiscal consolidation,” he said.
No relief was provided for Ontario residents struggling with inflation. In fact, the exemption given by the government on the provincial gas tax, which was temporarily reduced earlier, has also been abolished. No funding for COVID-19 has been put in place by the government.
At the same time, the government is expected to earn less than cannabis. Revenue from a typical cannabis store could fall by $31 million. This could be due to the cut in the prices of weed by OCS.
The government has set aside $1.4 billion to spend on the education sector. For the next 10 years, the government is setting aside $15 billion to expand schools and make schools healthy, and with the help of this money, 86,000 new childcare spaces will also be set up by the government by December 2026.
Provision has also been made in the budget to enable other seniors for the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS).
No money has been earmarked for Toronto this time. But $202 million a year has been set aside for supportive housing. The government says most of these will meet the City of Toronto, but no details have been provided.