Skip to main content

Ontario Finance Minister plans cuts in public services



The Ontario government just lopped another $2.1 billion off their 2012-13 deficit estimate, cutting it from $11.9 billion (as of January) to $9.8 billion. This means that since 2010 when they started their public sector austerity drive, they have now cut their deficit estimates by $18.1 billion.

Deficit (in billions of dollars)
2009–10
2010–11
2011–12
2012–13
Total
2010 Budget
21.3
19.7
17.3
15.9
74.2
2013 April
19.3
14
13
9.8
56.1
Reduction in Deficit (billions)
2
5.7
4.3
6.1

18.1

Since the 2012 Budget, the government has repeatedly cuts its deficit forecast for 2012-13.  It started this year estimating a $15.2 billion deficit (just slightly lower than it estimated in 2010, as noted above). It now puts the deficit at a whopping $5.4 billion less.

That is one mighty big error over the course of just one year.

To put it in perspective, the government only hoped to save $8.8 billion over 3 years through the wage freeze and concessions it proposed for public sector workers last summer.

The attack on collective bargaining by the McGuinty government led to a lot of trouble and disruption for savings that were being achieved largely through other means -- and at a faster rate.

Despite the consistent write down of the deficit during the course of the fiscal year, the McGuinty /Duncan government (for political reasons) intensified its attacks on public sector workers and collective bargaining, changing its position last summer from demands for a two year wage freeze to one where it demanded concessions (as well as the wage freeze).

Perhaps the Wynne government has dialed it down a bit on free collective bargaining.  But will it do likewise on public services? Comments from the new Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, suggest otherwise.  He told  (who else?) a corporate crowd yesterday that he would deliver a funding increase of  less than 1%.  

That would actually be a cut from Dwight Duncan's budget last year.  There, total spending was supposed to increase 1.4%  (with program spending budgeted to increase 1.2% --see Budget table 2.31 ). In the previous year, 2011-12, total spending increased 2.8%, and in 2010-11 spending increased 4.9%.

With the population growing about 1.15% per year and inflation estimated for this year and the next two at 2% by the Ontario government, a spending increase of less than 1% would mean a very significant real decrease in public services --  even assuming ambitious efficiency gains.

Indeed, the nominal funding increase proposed for 2013-14 is worse than last year under Dwight Duncan. And if inflation does goes higher...

Photo: ammiiirrr

Comments

  1. What are the benefits from Ontario Finance Minister plans to the public or public services.And how they are relax from their attacks.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.





Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 


No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…