I am sure that this will not be the final word on the Ontario budget, but felt it was important to throw my thoughts into the mess hash tagged as #ONBudget2012. The Liberals have now benefited from the NDP generousity of a new tax and what could be called ‘support’, so we can all move on, right? I wish it would be that easy.
I do not think that anyone was surprised by the budget that was brought down my Dwight Duncan; it ignored everything that many thought was needed to save Ontario – including Don Drummond. The McGuinty government ignored the bulk of the ideas submitted for cost cutting and ‘earning’ millions of dollars in savings from reduced government spending. Instead the budgets of Ministries were increased and PS workers will bear the brunt of the austerity the McGuinty government has brought forth.
While a Tim Hudak budget would have frozen public service salaries, it would not have relied for all savings on the back the government workers. A Hudak budget would have relied on a reduced Cabinet, 2% percent savings from each Ministry department along with the freeze of PS worker salaries.
Many accuse the PC Party of not negotiating with McGuinty over the budget, really what did everyone think? McGuinty and Hudak would agree? Really? People thought that? Through the fall election, we reminded the voters daily of what a PC government would do with its first budget. What didn’t the Liberal Party team hear?
The biggest surprise and biggest non-surprise for me fell at the feet of the Ontario NDP and Andrea Horvath. The NDP tax, which is how the Liberals will spin the Tax on Ontarians earning more than $500K/year, was easily accepted and avoided an election in Ontario. The fact that the NDP Leader could not stand and vote ‘yea’ for the budget (or for that matter, whip a backbencher to do this) just as symbolic gesture is outrageous! That the entire NDP caucus abstained from the vote after getting what they asked for is even more dubious than the NDP calling out Hudak for not putting proposals forward. Even more dubious is that the McGuinty government fully expected the NDP to abstain. Was that also part of the budget proposal – you have our support but we won’t vote for it? It is akin to a marriage vow where “for now” replaces “I do”. Lawyers are now lining up for the eventual divorce.
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