Opinion: Lib’s economic statement an election ploy

VIC FEDELI

The Liberals’ Fall Economic Statement represents nothing more than a pre-election Hail Mary pass from an out of touch government, flailing to do or say anything to cling to power.

First, the measures aimed at small business are a pittance compared to what’s required to keep them viable, let alone competitive.

This announcement will not offset the impact of the Liberals’ rushed minimum wage plan. It is literally a fraction of the impact the sector will be hit with when the Liberals’ election-motivated minimum wage plan is implemented.

Here’s one example: A small restaurant in my Nipissing riding will be hit with $152,000 in added costs. Their annual profit is under $100,000. So, a 1% reduction of tax on their profit is peanuts in comparison. With the additional costs, there will no longer be any profit to tax — at any rate! It’s insulting. The restaurant will still lay off workers.

These examples exist across the province. According to an independent report from TD Bank, 90,000 jobs will be lost because of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s minimum wage hike. Tuesday’s plan will not eliminate this fact.

An increased minimum wage doesn’t help if workers don’t have access to good, stable jobs.

Our MPPs have heard first-hand from workers, families, small businesses, mom-and-pop shops, local chambers of commerce, and major community employers. The concerns are endless about the pace at which the Liberals will implement the minimum wage hike.

That’s why, using a responsible approach, the Ontario PCs will phase in the increase from a $14 to $15 minimum hourly wage over four years. This means the minimum wage will increase by 25 cents each year over our mandate, starting in 2019.

Everybody in Ontario recognizes the need for higher wages. Ontario families are working harder, paying more, and getting less under the Liberals.

Between skyrocketing hydro rates and ever-increasing taxes and fees, it’s very hard for families earning the minimum to even think about balancing their books at the end of the month.

However, phasing-in the minimum wage is the responsible approach.

The second most glaring issue with this economic statement is Finance Minister Charles Sousa has doubled down on the cooking of Ontario’s books.

None of the valid concerns raised over the past couple years by the auditor general or financial accountability office have been addressed by the government.

Recall that the auditor general has, for two years in a row, refused to sign off on this government’s public accounts. Recall that recently she has said the Liberals are “making up” their own accounting methods.

This fall economic statement is part of a trend of pulling the wool over our eyes to paint Liberal numbers in a good light right before an election.

It’s evidence that Wynne is untrustworthy, and she will say anything to get re-elected.

— Fedeli is finance critic for Ontario’s PC party

Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies