So, the Economic Statement/Fall mini-budget is out:
2022 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Ontario’s Plan to Build: A Progress Update
I've read it.
The government has somehow managed to add billions to the deficit vs the FAO report that came out quite recently; with precious little to show for it.
I counted one genuinely positive highlight; but even that one gets an asterisk.
- Those on ODSP (assuming they can work) will no longer have benefits taxed back for any income greater than $200 per month, that number will be increased to $1,000 per month. That's a solid move......
But...but..........the government also increased the claw back rate from .50c benefit reduction for each dollar earned to .75c per each dollar earned.
For those also living in rent-geared-to-income housing, that makes work literally not pay if you earn over $1,000 per month, you will be penalized greater than 100% (losing 75% of the gain to the clawback and another 30% to a rent increase)
What an asinine move, muffing an otherwise good play. The object should actually be sliding scale claw back........it should be 10c per dollar earned for the first $100 over the $1,000 exemption, then 20c at the $200 mark and so on, capping at 50c on the dollar.
Immediate negative, if it makes sense to incentivize those with disabilities to work, some of whom cannot; would it not make sense to offer the same incentive to the presumably able-bodied on OW? I ask, because they did not.
Lots of re-treads of existing announcements for transit and highways with precious little substance.
The did openly state that money for planning and design to extend the Eglinton Crosstown West into Pearson is now funded; as is money for the Sheppard East Line 4 extension. However, they don't show when those cashflow.
There are hints of extending GO Bus services in Eastern Ontario and the South-West, but no specifics, they even omit the word GO, only mentioning 'buses'.
Lots of retread announcements on hospitals and long-term care as well; nothing new of significance, the South Niagara Hospital is working on RFP close; and money appears to be set aside at some point for new hospital's near the Premier's cottage, with new facilities in Bracebridge and Huntsville planned.
An 'announcement' on raising the minimum wage again will happen in April, presumably with the next increase in October, no number given; hardly merited a mention.
Some new tax concessions for small business; and for the film industry and billions more for the gouging Telcos to extend broadband to more rural areas.
There is a temporary boost for Seniors that will amount to under $200 per year on a one-off basis for low-income seniors.
I will report more on where the money is going when I'm able to dig into it.