For Immediate Release
March 27, 2012
ORAZIETTI ANNOUNCES PROVINCIAL BUDGET PROTECTS GAINS IN HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION AND JOB CREATION
NDP May Force Costly $300 Million Election on Ontarians By Rejecting Responsible Budget Plan
Queen’s Park- Today, the provincial government released the 2012 Budget highlighting a five-year plan to eliminate the deficit through reducing program spending growth and containing costs by $17.7 billion over the next three years and increasing revenues by $4.4 billion, David Orazietti, MPP announced.
“Our government remains committed to building on the gains we have made since 2003 in key areas such as health care and education, the most important services on which Ontario families rely, said Orazietti. “This year’s budget will stabilize Ontario’s financial position, allow us to strengthen our economy, create more jobs and enable the province to eliminate the deficit by 2017-18.”
The province’s 2012 Budget reaffirms the government’s commitment to increasing access to quality health care for Ontarians. Since 2003, the province has increased health care funding by 63% or $18 billion. As a result of $1.5 billion in targeted investments, Ontario now has the shortest wait times in Canada for key medical procedures. Today, nearly 2.1 million more Ontarians have access to a family doctor and within 2 years every resident of Sault Ste. Marie will have access to either a family doctor or nurse practitioner as their primary care provider.
Building upon Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care, the government will continue to focus on delivering high-quality health care that is sustainable in the long term by reducing the rate of growth of spending to an average of 2.1 per cent annually over the next three years. The budget outlines shifts in health care spending to deliver health care dollars in an efficient manner that will lead to better outcomes for Ontarians. Specifically, the government will move towards patient-centered funding models to improve the value and quality of care, increase access to after-hours care and invest in community-based care to treat more patients in alternative settings, such as non-profit clinics and at home, when appropriate. Spending on home care and community health services will be increased by $526 million per year by 2014-15 in order to further reduce pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms.
The budget additionally reaffirms the government’s commitment to making education, ranging from full-day kindergarten to postsecondary, a top priority. Currently, all schools in Sault Ste. Marie offer full-day kindergarten and the government has committed to maintaining its $1.5 billion investment to fully implement this program across the province by 2014 in order to give young learners the best possible start to their education. The government has also committed to maintaining small class sizes in the early grades. In addition, the government will continue to provide full-time postsecondary students with the 30% Ontario Tuition Grant, provided the budget is supported by the NDP in the legislature.
The budget delivers a strong action plan for Ontario which includes a number of well-considered measures to manage costs and transform public programs to ensure that front line services are delivered in an efficient and effective manner. For every dollar in new revenues outlined in the 2012 Budget, there are four dollars of cost-savings and cost containment measures.The 2017-18 deficit elimination target will be met without raising taxes.
In addition to managing current costs, the government’s deficit reduction plan involves strengthening and further diversifying the economy through increased productivity growth. The budget announces the establishment of a Jobs and Prosperity Council to advise government on a plan to boost productivity. Existing business support programs will be streamlined to create a single Jobs and Prosperity Fund that will produce administrative savings of at least 25 per cent and overall savings of $250 million in 2014-15. Regional economic development funds including the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), which has provided over $47 million to support 400 projects in Sault Ste. Marie since 2003, will be maintained as a stand-alone program.
“We have introduced a budget today that is measured and responsible and presents a plan to eliminate the deficit while protecting the services that matter most to the people of this province,” said Orazietti. “It remains to be seen whether the NDP will support a balanced approach, or whether the NDP will force Ontario taxpayers to pay $300 million for another provincial election after just six months.”
Read background information on the 2012 Ontario Budget:
2004; David Orazietti, M.P.P.; All Rights Reserved.