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March 27, 2012 – “One per cent” budget fails Ontario: OPSEU

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TORONTO – The provincial Budget tabled by Finance Minister Dwight Duncan on March 27 is a “shameful disaster” that fails Ontario on multiple fronts, the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.

“The choices made in this Budget reflect an agenda that is all about prosperity for the one per cent paid for by the sacrifices of the 99 per cent,” Warren (Smokey) Thomas said this afternoon. “If this Budget passes, it will hurt people, slow our economy, and sharply increase income inequality in this province.

“Reducing a deficit does not require a transfer of income and wealth from working people to the super-rich,” he said. “But by emphasizing cuts and privatization while ignoring options to raise revenues through greater tax fairness, Dwight Duncan is doing exactly that.”

All low- and middle-income Ontarians will feel the effects of lost public services, Thomas said, and the spinoff effects of public sector job losses will mean significant job losses in the private sector as well.

“Even though 87 per cent of Ontarians choose ‘job creation’ as their preferred method of handling the deficit, this government’s economic policies will contribute to an extended economic slump,” he said. “It is clear that this government has no industrial strategy of any kind – unless of course you call wishing and hoping a strategy.”

Thomas said the Liberals under Dalton McGuinty learned nothing from last year’s Occupy movement and are out of step with voters, including most Liberals.

“The large majority of Ontarians want to see spending on public services either maintained or increased,” he said. “An even larger majority wants to see corporations and high-income earners pay their fair share in taxes.

“This budget will please Bay Street,” Thomas said. “Now we know what people get in return when they pay $1,500 a plate to go to a Dalton McGuinty fundraiser.”

More information:

Warren (Smokey) Thomas (613) 329-1931