Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s economic outlook and fiscal review failed to stop the tide of corporate tax cuts and overlooked how out-sourcing public sector work is helping to bleed the provincial treasury, says the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
“Minister Sousa had the opportunity to take meaningful steps in the direction of saving money while building our neglected public services,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Unfortunately he did neither.”
As an example, Thomas pointed out that his union has identified measures that could save the government as much as $250 million if it elected to return to the public sector work that has been out-sourced, such as many IT services. He said OPSEU has offered to participate in a joint union-management committee that would review other out-sourced work that, he believes, could be repatriated into the public service at considerable savings to taxpayers. .
To date, Treasury Board Chair, Deb Mathews, has not responded to the invitation to work with OPSEU on this issue.
Thomas also questioned the government’s relentless drive to reduce corporate tax rates – now down to 11.5 per cent in Ontario – when outside economists, including the former Governor of the Bank of Canada, have said there is little evidence that these tax breaks help build the economy or create jobs.
“Instead, Queen’s Park pats itself on the back when it hands over almost $100 million to the Honda motor company for expanded investment in Alliston,” said Thomas. “Why give corporations give-aways like this when we are told that is what corporate tax cuts are intended for,” said Thomas.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas