Taxpayers applaud province’s commitment to wage restraint
TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation applauds Ontario government’s introduction of legislation to limit public sector wage increases as a necessary first step on a long road toward getting Ontario’s fiscal situation under control.
“This government was elected on a mandate to put Ontario’s books back in order and we’re pleased to see the government follow through by controlling public sector compensation which accounts for about half of provincial spending,” said Jasmine Pickel, the CTF’s Ontario Director. “Putting the province on a path to fiscal sustainability will require responsible choices from our politicians.”
Government salaries are out of line with the private sector, which is why the CTF’s pre-budget submission called for an across-the-board wage freeze in future contract negotiations with the bureaucracy until the budget is balanced. A report by the Fraser Institute last year found that Ontario’s government workers earned, on average, 11 per cent more than those in the private sector, in addition to receiving better benefits and retiring earlier.
With a projected budget deficit of nearly $12 billion this fiscal year, unaffordable public sector salaries, which account for $72 billion dollars annually, will need to be addressed.
“Although this decision is a step in the right direction, much more needs to be done to relieve the heavy burden of debt that decades of reckless spending have placed on the backs of taxpayers,” said Pickel. “Ontario needs bold action from our politicians in order to stop wasting $36 million per day just to cover interest payments on the province’s debt.”
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Ontario Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation