Toronto—With the Ontario Tories continuing to shift enormous amounts of public funds into tax cuts, corporations and the wealthy are being served the cake while the rest of us in Ontario are being doled out crumbs, says Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Despite the Tory claim that tax cutting is the panacea for fueling the economy, the reality is that tax cuts have created a revenue crisis in Ontario. Once the full package of tax cuts, have been implemented, Ontario will lose at least $20 billion in revenues. Thats money says Ryan that could be going to fix our public health care system, instead of turning to two-tier delivery and privatization as the solution.
Health care spending has not increased, contrary to what the Tories are saying. Once inflation and population growth, are factored in, real spending is down by $366 per person.
This government has asked everyone, but themselves and their corporate friends to shoulder the financial burden of their austerity measures, downsizing and restructuring. Public sector workers have been told they should tighten their belts and accept wage freezes. School boards, hospitals and municipalities are being graded and held accountable for every penny spent.
As the economy slows down, the Tories particular brand of fiscal mismanagement and dime store economics will have a catastrophic impact on our long-term growth and stability, says Ryan.
He points out that while the Tories have allocated new funding for colleges and universities, the money is not enough to meet the influx of nearly 90,000 new student into the public system over the next decade. Over the past five years, Ontario has cut post-secondary funding by 8 per cent. Many U.S. states, including Michigan and Ohio have increased funding for higher education by nearly 25 per cent.
An investment in education is an investment in the economy. If this government had any foresight they would be substantially increasing funding to public post-secondary education, adds Ryan.
A recent Ipsos-Reid survey found that 64 per cent of Ontarians and 53 per cent of decided Tory voters are willing to forgo a tax cut to funnel more money into funding colleges and universities.
For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications