Tax cuts for the wealthiest and further tax breaks for corporations announced in the Ford government’s economic statement will mean deep cuts for public services, says CUPE Ontario’s Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick.

“You can’t reduce taxes for corporations and the wealthy and bring down the deficit without making significant cuts to the services and programs workers and their families rely on,” said Rennick. “Seniors in long-term care are suffering, sick people are being left on gurneys in hospital hallways, families don’t have access to the child care they need, and many school age children are not getting the level of support they need in the classroom. Nothing the government announced today will fix that – in fact it will make things worse.”

New hospital beds announced in today’s speech come with half the money previously allotted and new beds in long-term care come with no additional funding.

“Seniors currently living in long-term care aren’t getting the level of care they need. Increasing the number of beds without providing the necessary funding isn’t possible unless the quality of care gets even worse than it already is – and our seniors deserve much better than that,” Rennick said.

“The Ford government wants us to believe that we have only two choices: make cuts or run deficits, but this just isn’t true. Ontario doesn’t have a spending problem – it has a revenue problem and today things just got a lot worse,” she said.

Corporations used to pay the same share of taxes as individuals, to fund the services and programs our communities need to thrive. The corporate tax rate has been slowly reduced over the past several decades and now people pay 3.5 times more than corporations. At the same time corporate profits have soared while people’s wages have flatlined and most Ontarians struggle with debt to cover their basic costs.

“This government continues to say that it is for the people, but its action says the exact opposite,” says Rennick. “If Ontario is really going to thrive and people are going to have the services they need to succeed, this government is going to have to deal with the province very real revenue problems and start making corporations pay their fair share.”