June 25, 2012
Ontario passes budget with tax hike for those earning more than $500K
After months of politicking, the 2012 Ontario budget bill has passed at Queen’s Park. Premier Dalton McGuinty and his minority Liberals adopted amendments to the budget that would please the New Democratic Party and its leader Andrea Horwath so they would vote to pass the bill.
The NDP abstained on the final vote on June 20, leaving the Liberals to out vote the Progressive Conservatives 52 to 35 to pass their budget, avoiding the automatic defeat of the minority government.
“New Democrats focused on what mattered, averted an election, improved the budget and made minority government work for the people of Ontario,” said Horwath in a news release. “The Premier’s learned a valuable lesson: I don’t work for him, I work for the people of Ontario, and I’ll work hard to get results for them.” Among the changes included in the budget is a two percentage point surtax on the incomes of Ontarians who make more than $500,000 a year.
Ontario currently has a $15 billion deficit, which has fallen from the $15.3 prediction when the Liberals tabled the budget on March 27. The Liberals said the “strong action” taken in this budget puts the province on track to balance the deficit by 2017-18.
“Our Budget is the best way forward — making the right choices we need to grow Ontario's economy and protect the gains we've made,” said McGuinty in a release.
Leading up to the budget, the construction industry was worried about cuts made to infrastructure funding, but the province is maintaining its three-year $35 billion commitment to infrastructure and rolled forward that commitment for an additional year.
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