Austerity coming to Ontario

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Doug
Austerity coming to Ontario
Aristotleded24

I guess it's a bad thing that Hudak won the election, because he is merely following through on the Common Sense Platform Part II upon which his campaign was based.

Oh, wait....

theleftyinvestor

A situation like this could really force the LIberals to pick one side to lean on, left or right, to keep the government afloat. One single misstep and it's a 2012 election.

Fidel

As Bay Street Bugs Bunny once said to Pete Puma, 'One lump or two, Pete?' And to which Pete replied,

Awww no thanks, I'll jus' help m'self. <proceeds to hammer himself on the head with a mallet>

Uncle John

I asked my kids if they wanted to pay for Ontario's current deficits in the future, and they said "No way dad!" How ungrateful of them!

Michelle

Yes indeed, amazingly ungrateful, considering that social spending benefits children just as much as, if not more than, adults.  But I'm guessing your kids weren't told that part, right?  That education and day care actually cost something, as does health care?

Gee, why can't all social and economic policy be decided by asking over-simplified, right-wing, biased questions of little kids?

Edited to add: I didn't misunderstand your post, did I, Uncle John?  Were you maybe being sarcastic?  If so, sorry for not catching it...

Fidel

'

Michelle wrote:

Yes indeed, amazingly ungrateful, considering that social spending benefits children just as much as, if not more than, adults.  But I'm guessing your kids weren't told that part, right?  That education and day care actually cost something, as does health care?

Gee, why can't all social and economic policy be decided by asking over-simplified, right-wing, biased questions of little kids?

Edited to add: I didn't misunderstand your post, did I, Uncle John?  Were you maybe being sarcastic?  If so, sorry for not catching it...

I'm with Michelle and most socialists on the matter. Health care and education costs what it costs and should not, and can not, be run like a business or be thrown to "market forces" wolves. Wolves tend to leave nothing behind after theyre done feasting.

However, I said most socialists. In the USA,  for example, there is private sector delivery of health services to the greater extent than most other developed countries. And they, too, know and understand that health care costs what it costs, and I think the privateers tend to push this idea to extremes. Private enterprisers and I imagine hospital boards might not be all that efficient when it comes to paying themselves or cutting corners when they have a blank cheque signed by taxpayers. So I think it's possible that there are two types of "it costs what it costs." They spend a lot more on health care in the US than any other developed country and yet have the crappiest national health statistics. I think a lot of money is wasted on health care fraud in addition to the duplication of health care admin.

Uncle John

Surely I am responsible for paying for the education and daycare of my children, as my parents were responsible for me (whether as an individual or part of a community). If I/we have to borrow money to do that, I/we should be responsible for paying it back. Eventually they might have their own children to support, which would be made more difficult were they to have my/our debts to pay.

The NDP has a good track record of being fiscally responsible. Why don't we focus on that, instead of imitating fiscally irresponsible Conservative policy? Loading debt on future generations without their consent is morally bankrupt.

Michelle

Ah, okay, I see where you're coming from.  My sarcasm was perhaps unjustified. :)

So you're thinking we run balanced budgets, and the community pays for what needs paying for as we spend it, right?  But by "community" I'm assuming you mean society as a whole, including corporations, which, as the price for operating in our midst and selling their goods and services to us, must pay taxes for the betterment of our society (not to mention so that they don't get an educated and healthy workforce for free), so that we don't leave debt to the next generation to pay.

I can get on board with that.

Uncle John

I don't see why a country like this cannot afford to pay for all the services it wants through general revenues. The problem is that people do not want to pay. Recently they asked people about medicare, and the respondents were all really concerned about it. However no one asked, "If we needed a tax increase to maintain medicare in this country according to the principles of the Canada Health Act, would you be willing to pay your share?"

TWO provincial elections ago, Ontario premier McGuinty put in a really regressive health care levy, which really stings you if you are on minimum wage. Been there. Yet McGuinty got re-elected twice. So I think if you were to say, "look, we need more taxes for health care", I think most would go for it, especially if it was way less regressive than McGuinty's scheme...

Fidel

Uncle John wrote:

I don't see why a country like this cannot afford to pay for all the services it wants through general revenues. The problem is that people do not want to pay.

I think it's that Ottawa simply chooses not to raise overall taxes in order to pay for them. This is what neoliberalism looks like in a country still using an obsolete and uncompetitive electoral system. Our corrupt stooges in Ottawa with about 24% of eligible voter support under them don't have to do what the large majority of Canadians want them to. Ottawa's overall program spending is billions less than it is for the rest of Canada. It's a top-down system that pits smaller provincial economies against larger ones typically governed by Liberal and Tory governments setting the pace for everything from provincial corporate tax rates to minimum wage.

Total tax revenues as a percentage of GDP: OECD

Fidel

Ontario losing billions in funding revenue, Commission told

Quote:
"It is evident that for middle and low households the tax cut agenda is actually associated with a reduction in the standard of living and we are seeing an ever widening gap between the ‘haves' and ‘have nots' in Canada. Investing in social determinants of health will take tax money. The Nordic countries have demonstrated this."

Premier of Canada's largest province feigning impotence, too. Someone should tell Dalton Pinocchio that it's not a real medical condition.

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

Ontario losing billions in funding revenue, Commission told

Quote:
"It is evident that for middle and low households the tax cut agenda is actually associated with a reduction in the standard of living and we are seeing an ever widening gap between the ‘haves' and ‘have nots' in Canada. Investing in social determinants of health will take tax money. The Nordic countries have demonstrated this."

Premier of Canada's largest province feigning impotence, too. Someone should tell Dalton Pinocchio that it's not a real medical condition.

The article starts with:

Quote:
Two prominent Canadian economists have told the Commission on Quality Public Services and Tax Fairness that the provincial treasury is forfeiting billions of dollars in tax revenue by failing to adopt policies that could be used to fund sustainable public services.

 

but it doesn't say what the policies are. Anyone know?

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:

but it doesn't say what the policies are. Anyone know?

Nordic country policies and basically the opposite of everything Pinocchio McGuilty has done or not done since 2003. 

Ontario's Liberal Government have been Herbert Hooverians on taxes - they've refused to tax those most able to pay them and raised taxes and user fees for those least able to pay. 

Uncle John

Yeah I have to agree McGuinty's health tax levy is particularly nasty based on ability to pay. Ironically, even Harris' was less regressive than this!

Aristotleded24

Uncle John wrote:
Surely I am responsible for paying for the education and daycare of my children, as my parents were responsible for me (whether as an individual or part of a community). If I/we have to borrow money to do that, I/we should be responsible for paying it back. Eventually they might have their own children to support, which would be made more difficult were they to have my/our debts to pay.

The NDP has a good track record of being fiscally responsible. Why don't we focus on that, instead of imitating fiscally irresponsible Conservative policy? Loading debt on future generations without their consent is morally bankrupt.

[url=http://enmasse.ca/?p=168]I agree:[/url]

Quote:
I believe that short of severe economic downturns and severe national emergencies, for example a natural disaster, that the left should actually embrace balanced budgets. Why?

Balanced Budgets Or Social Spending? Pick One

...

“Spending Problem?”

...

Who Is Better At It?

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

but it doesn't say what the policies are. Anyone know?

Nordic country policies and basically the opposite of everything Pinocchio McGuilty has done or not done since 2003. 

Ontario's Liberal Government have been Herbert Hooverians on taxes - they've refused to tax those most able to pay them and raised taxes and user fees for those least able to pay. 

So "adopt policies that could be used to fund sustainable public services" is bafflegab for "raise taxes"? Who knew?

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:

So "adopt policies that could be used to fund sustainable public services" is bafflegab for "raise taxes"? Who knew?

 

Canada's overall tax revs as a percentage of GDP are below the OECD average. 

And never mind the EU15 avg.

And never mind still the Nordic country avg.

Still think Canadians are over-taxed? Pull the other one - it's got bells on.

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

So "adopt policies that could be used to fund sustainable public services" is bafflegab for "raise taxes"? Who knew?

 

Canada's overall tax revs as a percentage of GDP are below the OECD average. 

And never mind the EU15 avg.

And never mind still the Nordic country avg.

Still think Canadians are over-taxed? Pull the other one - it's got bells on.

I agree that if you take, say, Sweden as a reference point, there's lots of room to raise the top marginal income tax rate on employment income (by 10% or so) and the GST (again by 10% or so) for Canada to be comparable. The Swedes pay a lot more consumption and income taxes on labour than we do. On the other hand, they only pay 30% income tax on investment income, and that only at the Federal level, so Canadians actually pay more on that piece. See:

http://www.taxrates.cc/html/sweden-tax-rates.html

However, my point was that testimony to the Commission (which is really just the Public Services Foundation of Canada dressed up) used such a careful euphemism rather than just saying "raise taxes".

I don't see a lot of Canadians pointing at themselves and saying "raise taxes on me", but I wouldn't be surprised to see Canadians pointing at other Canadians and saying "raise taxes on him". It's how it usually goes.

Uncle John

Oh no you can't lower corporate taxes or capital gains taxes any more. Not in Canada. That would be right wing fascism.

Fidel

Compare tiny Sweden's economy with Canada's. Canada is, as the American military once said about it, a northern icebox of natural resource wealth to be raided at corporate America's convenience. We are exporting massive, simply massive amounts of oil and natural gas and hydroelectric power to the northern states. 

We would not have to lower corporate taxes or taxes on natural resource exports if there wasn't this race to the bottom mentality engrained in Ottawa. And it's been a case that none of the larger, more influential provincial economies are willing to challenge capital at the same time, like Dalton Hoover's government in Toronto spending us into a bottomless hole in setting us up for austerity in the process.

In Ontario the Liberals are basically copying taxation models of the 30 some-odd bankrupt US states in refusing to tax the wealthy and profitable corporations. That was Herbert Hoover's approach to taxation during the depression era, and that gov't actually did raise taxes while claiming to be practicing Keynesianism. It wasn't true, though. 

Canada has much more room for raising overall taxes than tiny Nordic country economies do. Their corporations raided resource wealth long ago and left them with little room for taxing timber and mineral and profits that were looted from their countries by marauding capital long ago. Today they have the most efficient taxation models in the world. It doesn't mean we have  to follow them to a tee on the consumption side, although that is one more possibility among several. Bags of room on taxation in Ontario and the rest of Canada. We should not have to be gutting public services Herbert Hoover style. We've lost somewhere more than $6 billion in wages from circulating in Ontario's economy since the loss of so many full-time, unionized manufacturing and related sector jobs since 2003 in order to prop-up a higher dollar and the fossil fuel industry in the prairies. Smaller government and pulling even more money out of Ontario's economy is not going to raise our standard of living or contribute to a more competitive economy Nordic style. The results are in - and more generous social spending is now thought to contribute to economic competitiveness not subtract from. There is a valid alternative to Margaret Thatcher's TINA.

ygtbk

@ Fidel: so which taxes would you raise? HST in Ontario to 25%? (I can't see that being a vote-getter.) Top marginal rate increase? (Brian Topp is floating this right now.) Or would you raise corporate taxes only and leave HST and personal income tax alone? If you follow the Sweden link I posted you'll see that Swedish and Canadian corporate taxes are actually pretty close (once you count provincial tax in Ontario) - they're both around 25% right now.

Fidel

I would support removing HST from necessities and leaving unrestricted ITC's alone. If I was looking for votes in the conservative bastion of Ontario among voters still voting and during what is sure to be neoliberal economic meltdown part III or IV or whatever in the next year or two, I would support what the ONDP is promising to, which is to spend more in health care and public services while costing less than the other two parties' platforms overall.

Federally, I think the NDP could raise overall tax revs in general and replace what was removed from social transfers since 1995. I think that would be a good place to start for our first NDP government in Ottawa.

ygtbk

@ Fidel: that's kind of a nonspecific answer to the question of which Ontario taxes you would raise. You can see here:

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2011/ch2h.html#c2_secH...

that Ontario spending has increased by 66% since 2002-2003, faster than can be accounted for by a combination of inflation (running around 2.5% over the period) and population growth. So assuming counterfactually that Ontario has a revenue problem, not a spending problem, what taxes would you raise?

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:

@ Fidel: that's kind of a nonspecific answer to the question of which Ontario taxes you would raise. You can see here:

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2011/ch2h.html#c2_secH...

that Ontario spending has increased by 66% since 2002-2003, faster than can be accounted for by a combination of inflation (running around 2.5% over the period) and population growth. So assuming counterfactually that Ontario has a revenue problem, not a spending problem, what taxes would you raise?

They have cut services and raised taxes and user fees since 2003, no question about it. And they plan on freezing spending and reducing the deficit. The Liberals are panicking over the deficit which they themselves created with help from Ottawa no less.

The Liberal Government's problem, ygtbk, is that they have expenditures of around $124 billion and revenues of almost $109 billion. That's an annual budget deficit of about $16 billion. Do you see a problem with this and the fact that they are talking abour further public sector job cuts as well as reduced services? 

The ONDP's platform is to increase provincial spending more than they would reduce taxes while, at the same time, costing anywhere from quarter-billion less than the Liberals plan to $2.6B less than the Tories' plan for cradle to grave socialism for profitable corporations and rich people.

Uncle John wrote:
Oh no you can't lower corporate taxes or capital gains taxes any more. Not in Canada. That would be right wing fascism.

That's right, there is no need to lower corporate taxes in Ontario, either. Non-financial corporations in Ontario are awash in cash to the tune of somewhere more than $450 billion. They are sitting on stacks and stacks of cash with no indication that they intend to invest in or create jobs in Ontario. Why would we want to give them even more money? Would it be so they can sit on an even larger pile of cash while the government in Toronto slashes public services and full-time jobs? Did sucking billions of dollars more out of the economy during an economic depression work for Herbert Hoover and Americans in the 1930s?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

In my sliver of the world, it looks like a whole lot of us could afford a few more dollars in taxes toward the social determinants of health.

Freedom 55

RevolutionPlease wrote:
In my sliver of the world, it looks like a whole lot of us could afford a few more dollars in taxes toward the social determinants of health.

 

Mine too.

ygtbk

@ Fidel: I'm not sure if you're unwilling to answer my question or unable to answer my question. You say you want to emulate the Nordic countries to "preserve" Ontario public services (this despite a massive run-up in provincial spending and debt since 2002-2003) but you are unable or unwilling to say which Ontario taxes you'd raise. Surely it can't be that difficult.

NDPP

Star Exclusive: Ontario To Face Sweeping Cost Cutting - by Linda Diebel

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1119065--don-drummon...

"It's as if Premier Dalton McGuint gave economist Don Drummond the province of Ontario tied up in a nice big bow. In a careers brimming with plum positions, Drummond calls this one his 'dream job': McGuinty put him in charge of a commission on the public service with the power to effect all our lives in Ontario...

His nickname is Premier Drummond, but Darth [Vader] Drummond might soon fit the bill - His report -already in the premier's office waiting for Drummond's final sign off in a few days - goes far beyond expected cuts and covers sweeping recommendations that would consolidate ministeries, overhaul others and change the health care system as we know it...

'I was always very clear at TD [Senior VP and Chief Economist] about what I was trying to do and what they expected of me,' he continues. 'Here was the cost of my group and I knew that if you wanted to survive, I had to make more money for the bank than was the cost of my group...There wasn't a bit of ambiguity about my value to the bank.'

And he wants to bring that discipline to how the province does its business. After full evaluation of each program,

'if it's not going well, it's gone."

Welcome to Bankster-Rule in Ontario...

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:

@ Fidel: I'm not sure if you're unwilling to answer my question or unable to answer my question. You say you want to emulate the Nordic countries to "preserve" Ontario public services (this despite a massive run-up in provincial spending and debt since 2002-2003) but you are unable or unwilling to say which Ontario taxes you'd raise. Surely it can't be that difficult.

ONDP's fiscal framework doc

Fyi, Ontario is not a Nordic country with federal powers for taxation and spending. It's a northern province living beyond its means within a federal fiscal straightjacket and in debt to the tune of more than $250 billion.

 

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

@ Fidel: I'm not sure if you're unwilling to answer my question or unable to answer my question. You say you want to emulate the Nordic countries to "preserve" Ontario public services (this despite a massive run-up in provincial spending and debt since 2002-2003) but you are unable or unwilling to say which Ontario taxes you'd raise. Surely it can't be that difficult.

ONDP's fiscal framework doc

Fyi, Ontario is not a Nordic country with federal powers for taxation and spending. It's a northern province living beyond its means within a federal fiscal straightjacket and in debt to the tune of more than $250 billion.

I agree that Ontario is a province and not a country. Having said that, how are your comments in posts #11 and #13 in this thread to be interpreted?

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:
I agree that Ontario is a province and not a country. Having said that, how are your comments in posts #11 and #13 in this thread to be interpreted?

 

The NDP's plan would have boosted stimulus to increase Ontario's GDP by a greater amount than overal platforms(taxing and spending) of either the Liberal or Conservative parties. If you want to compare Nordic countries at the federal level with provincial level NDP, then that's where the ONDP looks more Nordic than either of the two more conservative parties in Toronto. It is a fact that corporate and personal tax cuts deliver less bang for buck than does direct public spending. Yes, the multiplier effect would be lower in Ontario because it's a smaller economy than national level but spending effects would be similar.

The only way we could truly emulate Nordic countries with their plowing a whopping third of GDP back into social spending is with political will in Ottawa. The Nordics make our laissez-faire do-nothings in Ottawa appear to be anywhere from invisible to non-existent. You can't exclude federal government policies when comparing Nordic countries to the rest of the world. But on the provincial end of things, we don't have to cut public services or shovel money to rich people and corporations while sliding further into debt, either.

Corporate tax cuts alone are not linked with spurring economic growth. I think someone and maybe two posters above may have implied, or perhaps would like to suggest, that corporate tax cuts and low personal marginal rates alone are what make Nordic countries economically competitive. That's not true because there are some really piss-poor thirdworld capitalist countries where corporate and personal taxes are very low, and they are not listed in the top ten or top 20 most competitive economies in the world.

ygtbk

@ Fidel: I think most people would agree with you that low marginal tax rates alone are not enough to ensure prosperity. But unless I'm mistaken no-one in the thread so far has made that assertion. So I'm thinking that your current point is that Ontario cannot on its own improve economic growth, and that that will have to wait for a Federal NDP government. Is that more or less your point, or have I misunderstood it?

Fidel

I think provincial governments are able to tweak taxes here and there, ensure delivery of programs, legislate and regulate below the NAFTA radar etc. But they have no control over the national economy, or national taxation and spending. In that sense the Nordic countries are like one big union setting corporate tax levels and committing to social spending on national levels. We don't have that here. What we have in Canada is top-down neoliberal ideology resulting in race to the bottom mentality.

Yes, I think what we need is a federal level NDP government with control of federal purse strings in order to create Nordic style social democracy. And I would want to give then several terms in power not so unlike the first CCF governments in Saskatchewn needed to start a province. The challenges are different today.

Fidel

We've seen 'austerity' routine before TorStar comments

Quote:
The issue is always the mountain of debt and mounting deficits. (Municipalities, unlike the province and the feds, are forbidden to run deficits, giving rise to all manner of accounting tricks as well as program cuts.)

The reality is that the issue is the mountain of suffering and deprivation visited upon those who can afford it least. The rich are never told they'll have to pay a private contractor to plow their streets. Rather, the poor are told their community centre must close and their transit fares must rise.

Austerity is a combination of Spartan toughness and puritan rectitude. But notice that the toughness and rectitude are exhibited by those who dispense the pain upon their victims. Tax revenues may be falling, but corporations must be given tax cuts and faster depreciation allowances. Some libraries may close, but management consultants are retained at thousands of dollars per hour to collate information readily available at city hall.

A Torontonian on selective pain otherwise known as 'austerity.'

Austerity Czar should follow his own recommendations on poverty reduction Federal and Ontario governments are losing $13 billion a year due to inaction on poverty - a loss equal to 15 per cent of the provincial budge

ygtbk

Dalton McGuinty shocker: tells truth, at least partially:

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1120501--dalton-mcguinty-warns-ontarians-leaner-times-are-looming?bn=1

Given how Ontario spending has ramped up during his tenure as Premier, this is quite the stunning revelation.

 

Fidel

ygtbk wrote:

Dalton McGuinty shocker: tells truth, at least partially:

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1120501--dalton-mcguinty-warns-ontarians-leaner-times-are-looming?bn=1

Given how Ontario spending has ramped up during his tenure as Premier, this is quite the stunning revelation.

 

 

Ontario's spending increases have covered the Bank of Canada's inflation targets of 2% but not population growth. It's like wearing a jock strap your mother bought you when you were twelve and never buying a new one to accommodate for "expansion." Ontario has seen a greater net exodus of young people to other provinces than any other since the neoliberal Harris-Pinocchio regimes in Toronto.

Austerity: Making the Same Mistake Again? CJE

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

Ontario's spending increases have covered the Bank of Canada's inflation targets of 2% but not population growth. It's like wearing a jock strap your mother bought you when you were twelve and never buying a new one to accommodate for "expansion."

What a painful metaphor. However, it's incorrect.

If you look at the link I posted at post #23 in this thread, you can see that spending over the period increases from 74,558 to 124,068 (up by more than 66%). Population increases from 12,091 to 13,374 over the period (up by 10.6%). Instead of the 2% inflation you quote, let's assume a more generous 2.5% per year over the 9 year period.

Then if spending had increased with population and inflation, it would currently be at 74,558 * (13,374/12,091) * 1.025^9, which is 102,993. Spending is in fact projected at 124,068. The difference of 21,075 is bigger than the current Ontario deficit.

In other words, if spending increases had been held to growth in population and inflation, Ontario would currently be in surplus.

This is the reality that Dalton will not acknowledge.

Fidel

You're including deficit payments on debt, which is money not invested in programs spending, infrastructure, or improving the quality of life for Ontarians in general. But still...

I should have said their austerity budgets from here to 2015-16 expand by a bit above 2%. That rate covers the BoC targets but not population growth.

And there is no need to be in the debt situation they are in had they not dropped taxes on the rich and corporations since Harris' time. We went in the hole to the tune of $35 billion then to pay for tax cuts to rich friends of that party. The Liberals have been the same with refusing to tax those most able to pay. McGuinty's speech to the Canadian Club is basically begging them to create some jobs after years and years of corporate welfare donations in the form of tax cuts. They are sitting on piles of cash while the government slides further into debt for the sake of maintaining a conservative nanny state.

Doug

And so it arrives, with a big thump - seriously, this thing is over 500 pages long! I've just read the general part of the executive summary so far. The Drummond Report assumes, likely correctly, that real economic growth in Ontario will not exceed 2% per year for the foreseeable future. Growth is constrained by a strong currency, a reduction in labour force growth and the continuing decline in manufacturing as an employer. It was also directed not to consider tax changes so the balance of effort necessary to reduce the province's deficit falls on limiting spending and on fee increases.

So here's the core of the bad news - the report calls for spending increases to be limited to 0.8% per year for the next seven years. More specifically, it recommends increases of 2.5% per year for health care, 1% for education, 1.5% for post-secondary education, 0.5% for social services and everything else the Ontario government does has to be cut by 2.4% per year. So yes, it's pretty ouchy.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Drummond report recommends wage freezes and increased class sizes amid ‘harsh reality’ for Ontario

quote:

Recommendations from the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services include:

• Departments should not budget for any wage increases

• a zero wage budget for all public employees

• Wage freeze for doctors

• Give Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) more responsibility over funding and integration

• Divert patients who do not need acute care in hospitals to family doctors, clinics and nursing homes

• Increase university nursing programs and use nurse practitioners more effectively

• Expand role of pharmacists to permit them to give routine injections, inhalations and immunizations

• Create online system for prescription refills, test results and appointment scheduling

• Link Ontario Drug Benefit program, currently for seniors and social assistance recipients, directly to income

• Cancel full-day kindergarten

• Cap elementary classes from 20 to 23; junior school classes from 24.5 to 26 and secondary school classes from 22 to 24

• Phase out 70% of 13,800 non-teaching staff by 2017-18

• Charge students for school transportation costs

• Encourage secondary schools with low attendance to expand to a Grade 7-12 model

• Consider raising the retirement age for teachers. Currently, the average teacher retires at 59 after 26 years of service and collects a pension for 30 years

• Encourage colleges and universities to specialize so they’re not all offering the same type of programs

• Keep current tuition annual increases to a maximum of 5%

• Negotiate with federal government to designate inmates serving more than six months to penitentiaries. Currently, inmates must be sentenced to two years or more to be a federal responsibility.....

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/15/ontario-must-act-swiftly-and-bol...


Grandpa_Bill

Two excerpts from an article by Tanya Talaga in the Toronto Star about the Drummond Report:

PUBLIC HEALTH.  The 36 public health agencies should be folded into the LHINs, the report says. Public health should also be the sole responsibility of the provincial government. The current requirement that 25 per cent of the agencies receive funding from cities should be reviewed. More money should be put in preventative health measures, it added. Drummond points out only 25 per cent of the population's health outcomes are attributed to the health system. Yet only three-quarters of environmental factors that account for health outcomes such as education and income barely register in the health-care debate.

(Finally, someone in the popular press is saying out loud what we have known for some time:  societal health and well-being are closely associated with income.)

MENTAL HEALTH.  For too long, mental health and addiction costs have drained the system without being adequately addressed. Mental health costs are estimated at $39 billion annually and the ripple effects are felt in the justice, education and social services sectors. Care is currently delivered through 10 ministries, 440 children's agencies, 330 community mental health agencies and 150 substance abuse centres, the commission noted. There isn't one body to coordinate care and that has to change, Drummond said.

(Yes, but this shouldn't lead to an additional level of administration with no additional care.)

highlighted what I found interesting and added comment in parentheses. Here's a link to the article:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1131861--drummond-report-hospital-amalgamations-and-more-power-for-lhins-among-recommendations

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Confined to cuts

Drummond Commission's mandate did not permit tax increases.

Thousands of Ontarians will likely sleep fitfully tonight, knowing their fate is in the hands of Don Drummond. Others will sleep like babies, knowing the powerful ex-banker can do them no harm.

Drummond's long-awaited report, unveiled February 15 at Queen's Park, lays out a deficit-shrinking program of austerity that is expected to have harsh implications for public employees — from hospital cleaners to day care workers — as well as delivering service cuts with devastating impacts on the poor, the sick, women in shelters and the disabled.

But if Don Drummond looms large in the nightmares of some of Ontario's most vulnerable citizens, he presents a friendly banker's face to the affluent, who are to be spared paying any additional taxes as their contribution to the province's deficit fight....

http://www.straightgoods.ca/2012/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=147&Cookies=yes


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ontario health care delivery changes include assembly-line style private clinics

Under-funded public hospitals to suffer more cuts.

TORONTO, ON, February 13, 2012: Tough talk by Ontario's health minister on salary increases for the province's 25,000 physicians and the creation of new private, assembly-line procedure and surgery clinics should be viewed with a "grain of salt and a lot of questions about the motives behind these clinics, who stands to benefit and the potential risks to the health of Ontarians," says Michael Hurley, the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

Racing to come out ahead of the February 15 release of a report reviewing public services' cost-cutting, the health minister recently announced health service delivery changes that could include private birthing, knee and hip surgery and medical procedures clinics.

The cost-cutting and massive redesign of health services is coming even though over the last decade, health care spending has shrunk as a percentage of total program spending, down from 46 percent to 42 percent, while Ontario's population increased. In the same period, payments to physicians have increased by 88 percent and drug costs doubled in the last 20 years.....

http://www.publicvalues.ca/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=001156

NDPP

Drummond Proposes Harris Style Cuts - by Bill Bradley

http://www.mediacoop.ca/story/drummond-proposes-harris-style-cuts/9936

"To meet its own goal of a balanced budget in seven years, the government will have to cut program spending more deeply on a real capita basis, and over a much longer period of time, than the Harris government did in the 1990s,' Drummond wrote on page 10 of his executive summary.."

Banker Occupied [Canada] Europe and America  -  by Stephen Lendman

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2012/02/banker-occupied-europe-and-america...

"Money power rules. Across [Canada], Europe and America, governments follow banker diktats. They demand economies and people suffer to assure they're paid.."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The entire austerity crisis agenda is being shoved down our throats all for one reason: to avoid an increase in the progressive personal income tax.

The Drummond Report was predicated on the assumption that there would be no tax increases. Its draconian prescriptions for gutting government social and support programs and reducing the living standards of public servants are proposed as an alternative to tax increases.

The truth is that there is no crisis, there is no necessity of any of the Drummageddon austerity measures, because the entire fiscal health of Ontario could be assured by implementing tax increases that would hit the rich hardest. Instead, the McGuilty government proposes to make the working class pay for the tax cuts, bailouts, subsidies, and record profits enjoyed by the 1% as the income gap grows ever wider.

Ciabatta2

We've been cutting corporate and income taxes for fifteen years and now we're surprised that the cupboard is bare and we need to pay a guy 1500$ a day to tell us that?  Give me a break.  McGuinty's going to have a caucus revolt on his hands if he goes forward with this - we all know that Liberals don't run as candidates to deliver any sort of bad news to anyone.

deb93

Given a choice though, they'll cut off the poor and middle class, while protecting their wealthy benefactors.

Time to raise corporate taxes because the cuts there don't create jobs anyway.
And time to raise income tax rates for the rich.

As usual, the 'austerity' agenda is just another wealth grab by the rich.

I wonder who's REALLY paying (off) Drummond.

ygtbk

I think my posts at #23 and #37 are relevant here. Dalton McGuinty has been an incredibly poor fiscal manager. If he had increased spending in line with population and inflation (hardly the definition of draconian cuts) Ontario would not be in deficit today. This problem is entirely self-inflicted by the Liberal government, and they're going to try to use the Drummond report as a reason to cut, rather than say "you know, we're completely incompetent, and here's the problem that we caused..."

The federal government has cut back GST from 7% to 5% since 2006, so HST (let's just pretend it's been in place in Ontario the whole time, which is not quite true) has reduced from 15% to 13%. The Harper cuts in GST were widely criticized as regressive at the time. Maybe Dalton should boldly increase the Ontario portion of HST from 8% to 10%?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

ygtbk

..your numbers, i have no reason to doubt, are accurate. this makes mcguinty competent because he is serving the interest of capital. the problem of rampaging capital, as seen to be going everywhere, cannot be solved by producing logical finances by political force that matches the attack which then creates the space for change. so organize and resist is what i suggest. shut the province down before this goes any further.

 

deb93

Easier said than done, epaulo

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