The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Ontario’s political parties to present a plan to balance the budget next year, as a new Financial Accountability Office (FAO) report shows eliminating the deficit is within reach.
“Ontario hasn’t had a balanced budget in over 15 years, but a new FAO report shows the province is on track to do just that by next April,” said CTF Ontario Director Jay Goldberg. “As the most indebted sub-national government in the entire world, Ontario desperately needs to balance the books and start paying down debt. It’s time to get back in the black.”
Ontario’s debt has passed the $440 billion mark and this year’s debt interest payment will exceed $12 billion. The FAO report shows that government revenue is expected to increase by an average of 4.8 per cent over the next four years while program spending is expected to increase by an average of 3.6 per cent. The FAO predicts a surplus next year of $1.2 billion.
“Ontario’s politicians need to stop the endless cycle of deficits and debt that have plagued Ontario for over a decade,” said Goldberg. “Given the FAO report, every political party should be grounding its platform on a pledge to balance the budget by next year.”
Ontario currently spends more on debt interest than it does on post-secondary education. Debt interest payments are the third largest line item in the province’s budget.