Financial Accountability Officer Confirms Structural Deficit: FedeliMay 18, 2016
QUEEN’S PARK – The Financial Accountability Officer confirmed today that the government is trying to temporarily balance the budget, through the one-time sale of assets, only to see it plunge back into deficit, Nipissing MPP and Finance Critic Vic Fedeli said today.
In the report, the Financial Accountability Officer questioned the Liberal Government’s ability to sustainably balance the province’s budget in 2017-18 and beyond.
“This morning, the Financial Accountability Officer confirmed what we’ve been saying for months – the government is using one-time money from asset sales, contingency funds and tax increases to try to balance the budget,” said Fedeli.
“The FAO says they’ll still come up short in 2017-18 and forecasts a $600 million deficit,” continued Fedeli. “When asked about whether this government is properly balancing risks the FAO said ‘we don’t believe this fiscal plan does.’ Will the Minister finally admit there’s a structural deficit in Ontario?”
The FAO’s report also questioned the government’s growth projections, noting that they have been incorrect for the past five years.
“The FAO was clear – ‘this fiscal plan is not evenly balanced’…‘most risk is on the downside’. He also said he has ‘serial disappointment’ in the government’s projections – Speaker, their forecasts have missed the target in each of the past five years,” said Fedeli.
“That means without selling assets, they won’t meet revenue targets. After 2018/19, the FAO projects a deterioration in the province’s budget balance, with a deficit of $1.7 billion by 2020.”
Today’s report also indicated that Ontario’s net debt is projected to rise over the next five years to a record total of $350.2 billion.
“The FAO also forecasts net debt will continue to skyrocket – another $54 billion over the next four years. Will the Minister admit his government’s waste, scandal and mismanagement is hurting Ontario?”
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