Budget 2014 – An Overview and Analysis
Published on: 21/07/2014
On July 14, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa, re-introduced the same provincial budget that triggered the June 2014 election; however this time the Budget is backed by a majority Liberal government to see this plan through. A bulletin was previously sent out to OSWCA members on May 1 with the specific details of interest in the Budget, which has also been posted on the OSWCA website at the following link: http://goo.gl/pR8xQ2.
The $130.4 billion budget promises significant spending on infrastructure, including long-term commitments for $130 billion for infrastructure over the next decade, as well as $29 billion for transit infrastructure over the same time period. The Budget will also move forward with the previously announced repeal of the fuel tax exemption for certain pieces of road-building equipment and will require these pieces of equipment to be plated and registered. A list of what equipment is included in this change will be available shortly.
The Budget maintains the allocations of $2.1 billion in support to municipal infrastructure development, with $1.5 billion of this amount coming through the provincial uploading of municipal social programming costs, with the expectation that the municipality would then spend the saved amount on necessary construction. In order to facilitate this, the government is also continuing its support for the $200 million Municipal Infrastructure Strategy, which aims to help small- and medium-sized municipalities prepare asset management plans to identify required infrastructure upgrades.
Despite increased spending and an increasing deficit in 2014, the Budget continues to promise a balanced budget by 2017-18.
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