TORONTO – Today’s Ontario budget will increase poverty, kill jobs and hurt communities without fixing the economy, says Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario.
“It’s all pain without the gain. This budget won’t fix the deficit. It will pull billions out of the economy, throw thousands out of work and cut the services that our communities rely on,” he said. “Balancing the books on the back of a child care worker who makes $28,000 a year or a school secretary who makes $35,000 a year while corporations are enjoying the benefit of huge tax cuts and refusing to create jobs is an outrage.”
Decisions in this budget freezing social assistance rates, cutting public services, and holding back the Ontario child benefit ultimately punish communities and make the poor and working people pay for unproductive corporate tax cuts.
“The worst part of this budget is that it shows the Premier and Finance Minister have lost hope. They believe Ontario’s economy will never recover,” said Hahn. “We believe the knowledge and skills of Ontarians can rebuild the economy and build a better province.”
This budget will be particularly hard on communities with high unemployment, such as Windsor, London, Brantford, and in Northern Ontario. Sagging economies and manufacturing job losses have made many communities more reliant on the very public services which the Liberals are cutting today.
“Ontarians will not sit idly by while our province is damaged,” said Hahn. “There will be people on the lawn of Queen’s Park. There will be people at constituency offices. And there will be people knocking on doors in the next election.”
Leading economists have shown the deficit can be eliminated through a combination of fair tax measures, strategic investments to create good jobs and grow the economy, and investing in quality public services.
“Instead of building, the Liberals have chosen to tear down,” said Hahn. “People need good jobs, not pink slips. Businesses need good public infrastructure to grow. Families need safe, affordable childcare and housing. Our elders need to be able to live out their retirement in dignity. Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals need to remember they were elected to protect Ontarians, not to give money to banks.”
For more information, please contact:
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316