Ontario Conservative Platform has $10 Billion "Hole": CCPA Study

September 29, 2011, 3:11 PM EST


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A comprehensive comparison of the election platforms of the three major parties in Ontario's election has revealed an enormous fiscal "hole" in the Conservative platform, that will inevitably result in dramatic reductions in public spending if that party wins the October 6 election.

The report, released by Hugh Mackenzie with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), added up the value of the campaign promises for tax cuts and new spending programs made by the three parties, and compared those to their corresponding plans to pay for those promises.

It found that the Conservative platform is by far the most aggressive of the three parties, featuring promises that would cost $4.4 billion per year by 2015-16.  That's as much as the value of the promises in the Liberal and NDP platforms put together.  Nearly 80% of the cost of the Conservative platform goes to tax cuts.

Most dangerous, the Conservatives rely solely on spending cuts to pay for these promises, yet they have not explained where most of those cuts will come from.  Mackenzie's calculations show that unspecified additional spending cuts worth $4.1 billion in 2015-16 (and a cumulative $10 billion over the next four years) will be required to make the Conservative plan "add up."

Mackenzie concludes, "There's a $10 billion hole in his budget that can only be filled by public service cuts that he isn't prepared to tell you about right now."

The full report can be downloaded from the CCPA here:

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/platform-costing-and-politics-fiscal-policy-ontario

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