The Conference Board of Canada’s Director Matthew Stewart offers the following insights on the Ontario 2019 Budget:
“Overall, Ontario’s budget is about spending control. The spending targets will be difficult to achieve but if successful, the new government will eliminate its deficit in five years with no tax increases.”
- With its first budget, the new conservative government in Ontario outlined its plan to balance the books by 2023–24. With no tax increases, this will require one of the most stringent spending plans in the province’s history.
- No departments are spared as the province looks to slay its current $11.7 billion deficit in the next five years.
- The Ontario economy is slowing more quickly than anticipated just a few months ago. The Ministry of Finance views on the economy are in line with those of the Conference Board of Canada. Real economic growth is forecast to average around 1.5 per cent over the next two years.
- There are a number of risks to the government’s fiscal plan. On the spending side, unprecedented restraint will be difficult to achieve. On the revenue side, there are numerous risks to the economic outlook including high household debt, low business confidence and growing trade disputes, all of which have the potential to derail government income growth.
- Budget 2019 proposes few new simulative measures; a small tax childcare credit will have only a marginal impact on the economy.
Our Ontario Budget 2019 Analysis Report will be available for editorial use at www.conferenceboard.ca this evening, between 8 and 9 p.m. EDT.