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Showing posts from November, 2014

Ontario set to beat deficit target - contrary to media tales of doom

There was much gloom in the corporate media's reports on the Ontario government's Budget follow-up, the Fall Economic Statement.  The Globe and Mail headlined their front page report on the Statement with the claim "Ontario Fades," concluding that "the key takeaway was that the province's struggle to rein in its chronic budget deficits is getting harder."  

The Sun Media columnist Anthony Furey treats the Statement as another gruesome example of governments addicted to debt. 

Stories about worsening government deficits play well with big business attacks on public services, but they are  based on exaggerating minor issues.

True, the Ontario Finance Ministry did reduce the 2014-15 revenue outlook by $509 million.  
But there is much more to the story than that.  

The reported decline in revenue had little to do with current events. Instead it was largely based on new assessments of corporate taxes for 2012 and earlier.  
As well interest spending was also down…

Public sector wage settlements fall behind the private sector -- and inflation

Have broader public sector workers received larger than average wage settlements than private sector workers?  Have broader public sector settlements exceeded inflation?  
The Ontario Ministry of Labour has just released its report on settlements in August, so we now have data for most of 2014.  The data sheds some light on these questions.  
Broader public sector wage settlements within the provincial government’s domain (i.e. public sector settlements excluding federal and municipal settlements) have significantly increased since last year’s stingy 0.3% average annual settlement.  
Click here for NEW UPDATE: Collective Bargaining In Ontario: New Trends, New possibilities, May 2015

Provincial broader public sector settlements average 1.3% so far in 2014.  Nevertheless, they are on track to be lower than private sector settlements for the fifth year in a row, as private sector settlements have averaged 1.8% in 2014, half a percent higher.

% Increase 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Average % Sett…