Autumn marks the release of the annual Fall Economic Statement, which is an opportunity for governments to update the public on Ontario’s finances between budgets. Last week, Finance Minister Rod Philips released the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: A Plan to Build Ontario Together, this year’s Fall Economic Statement. This report is our latest update on our work on many key priorities.
Since taking office in June 2018, our government has been working diligently to get Ontario back on track and restore Ontarians’ trust in government.Through this plan, we are creating an Ontario where life is more affordable, where people can get ahead with good jobs, and where businesses are winning on the world stage. We are also making strategic investments in public services including transportation, health care, and education. And importantly, we are committed to accomplishing these priorities while tackling the provincial deficit in a responsible manner, ensuring that government works smarter to help you get ahead, and supporting our small business community.
For the second year in a row, we are beating our deficit reduction targets. Ontario is projected to beat its deficit target for 2019–20 by $1.3 billion — reducing the deficit to $9 billion from the 2019 Budget target of $10.3 billion. While making steady progress to reduce the deficit, we are continuing to invest in services and infrastructure that Ontarians rely on every day.
As a part of the Fall Economic Statement, we have also launched a “Smart Government” plan to bring inefficient and outdated government processes and services into the 21st century. For example, we will be delivering simpler and faster online transactions, including for renewing your driver’s license or getting your health card. In total, over 10 million in-person Service Ontario transactions will be shifted to digital channels so that you have access to the government services you need, when and where you need them. This will ensure that your government is working for you, and is spending your hard-earned tax dollars prudently.
It is also important to create a climate that supports and attracts business investment and job creation across the province. Small businesses are vital to the economic success of our province, and we are committed to supporting them. In the Fall Economic Statement, we are proposing to reduce the small business Corporate Income Tax rate beginning on January 1, 2020. This would provide tax relief of up to $1,500 annually to over 275,000 businesses — from family-owned shops to innovative start-ups, including the many here in Dufferin-Caledon. As a result of our government’s actions to date, Ontario’s small business community will save $2.3 billion in 2020.
Restoring Ontario’s fiscal health does not happen overnight. However, our plan continues us on the path towards a balanced budget by 2023-24, while maintaining and making strategic investments in services and infrastructure that Ontarians rely on. To learn more about the Fall Economic Statement, visit sylviajonesmpp.ca or call my office at 1-800-265-1603.