Punitive Austerity: Ford, the Tories and the Coming Cuts

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1616 ... June 5, 2018

Punitive Austerity: Ford, the Tories and the Coming Cuts

Natalie Mehra

Many Ontarians are captured by the idea of getting the same or more services for less money. But few know what the numbers might actually mean. Since Doug Ford [Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario] did not release a clear platform, Ontarians know more about how much a beer may cost if the Conservative leader is elected than they know about how much their hospitals may be funded. This is a serious problem because the numbers that Mr. Ford has revealed are disturbing.

On Wednesday in a radio interview, Mr. Ford said that he was going to eliminate the provincial deficit in three years. This is on top of major revenue... cuts. Mr. Ford has also pledged to cut $6-billion in public service spending through “efficiencies” over 4-years. These are big figures and Mr. Ford has not provided any details of what he plans for hospital and other vital health service funding as a result. But economists have crunched the numbers and by every tally the planned cuts amount to tens of billions of dollars. We are extremely worried.

The clearest analysis of Mr. Ford’s proposed cuts to the province’s revenues -- that is the money available for funding our public services and programs -- comes from Mike Moffatt, an economist at Western University. This analysis shows that, using Mr. Ford’s own concrete figures, $22-billion in cuts to provincial revenues is planned over three years.

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