Back in 2003 when the Liberals came to power, electricity rates in Ontario were 5¢ kWhr. Today the peak rate is 13.5¢ + 8% HST or 14.5¢. That’s a staggering increase of 190%!
But wait for it: the Liberals don’t believe hydro rates are high enough. They plan on increasing them a further 33% over the next three years!
I guess if you are low income and have asthma, this summer you’ll have to debate whether to put the air conditioner on and breathe, or take your chances and leave it off so you can afford to eat.
Free money for the rich
And while the Liberals keep gouging the little guy, year after year after year, they believe the rich deserve $2.4-billion a year in corporate tax cuts that create imaginary jobs — money we are actually borrowing to pay for!
Campaign from the left, govern from the right
Liberals are pretending to be progressives with a fake budget full of empty promises.
But if they manage to weasel a majority government, they will suddenly realize they have a budget crisis on their hands. Then they will tell Ontarians they have no choice but to jettison their promises and slash spending.
Don’t believe me? How about taking the word of former Ontario Liberal finance minister Dwight Duncan. He recently said, “Ontario is faced with staggering debt” and spending cuts will have to be doubled in order to get the deficit under control.
Let’s face the facts. Mike Harris’s 30% income tax cuts were reckless and created a structural deficit of $5.6-billion back in 2003. McGuinty’s corporate tax cuts only added to the problem — according to KPMG, Canada has the lowest effective corporate tax rate of all major economies.
So instead of depressing the economy further with spending cuts — which the IMF says is self-defeating in the midst of the global Great Recession (we’ve been stuck in for 6 years and counting) — we need to reverse reckless tax cuts for the wealthiest.
Back in the centrist post-WW2 era, we had progressive taxation, phenomenal economic growth and we paid our bills. Over the past 30 years, neo-cons said tax cuts for the rich would pay for themselves and create jobs. They were wrong on all counts.
It’s time to ditch this self-destructive neo-Liberal ideology and return to the practical center. The NDP is the only party offering us economic policy proven to work.