Taxpayers Federation applauds Ford government’s gas tax cut, calls for spending restraint

Author: Jay Goldberg 2022/11/14

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding the Ford government’s decision to extend the 5.7 cent per litre gas tax cut for another year. The Ontario government included the tax cut in its fiscal update.

“The Ford government’s gas tax cut extension will continue to help Ontario families lower costs in the wake of decades-high inflation,” said CTF Ontario Director Jay Goldberg. “This gas tax cut to save two-car Ontario families up to $380.

“But the fiscal update shows the deficit is a huge problem.”

The fiscal update is projecting a deficit of $12.9 billion for the current fiscal year and doesn’t present a plan to return to balance. Just weeks ago, the Ford government announced a $2.1 billion surplus for 2021-22. Despite the government’s deficit projection for the current fiscal year, revenue is up by $7 billion.

“The fact that the Ford government is plunging the province back into deficit territory while revenue has increased is extremely disappointing,” said Goldberg. “The government should have built on its surplus from last year. Unfortunately, Ford is once again taking out the taxpayer credit card.”

Debt interest charges will cost taxpayers $13.6 billion this year. That’s $100 million more than projected in the 2022 budget.

“Canadians are tightening their belts in the wake of rampant inflation and so should the government,” said Goldberg. “Deficit spending only helps to fuel the inflation fire. Ford needs to rein in his spending and get the province back into the black.”

The Ford government plans to spend roughly $13.7 million on per-vote welfare payments to Ontario’s political parties this year, despite promising to eliminate the payments in 2018. The government also announced plans to give Stellantis, a Fortune 500 company, nearly $300 million in corporate welfare handouts.

“It’s time for Ford to end his wasteful spending so that Ontario can get back to balance while still delivering on tax relief,” said Goldberg.