Today the Ontario Government released their fall economic statement which serves as a mid-term check up on the state of Ontario’s economy. The government is on track to balance the budget this year, as well as the next two years with revenues projected to rise to $158.2 billion in 2019–20, up from $140.7 billion in 2016–17, an average annual growth rate of four per cent. The net debt-to-GDP ratio is anticipated to decline to 37.3 per cent in 2017–18, while the province’s unemployment rate continues to remain below the national average.
Click here to access the full economic statement papers.
Here are the top 10 takeaways from today’s announcement:
- Minimum wage will rise to $14 on January 1, 2018 and to $15 an hour on January 1, 2019, while part-time workers doing the same job as full-time workers will receive equal pay
- OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare, a new benefit that covers the cost of prescription medications for everyone under 25, will commence January 1, 2018
- Free tuition will be available for more than 210,000 college and university students through Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
- The Aging with Confidence action plan will create 5,000 new long-term care beds by 2022 and more than 30,000 beds over the next decade, while an additional 30,000 existing beds will be redeveloped
- Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers will provide incentives to small businesses such as $1,000 for the hiring and retention of young workers
- 24,000 more children aged four and under will have access to licensed child care this year as part of a commitment to provide 100,000 new spaces
- $500 million in new initiatives over three years will lower costs and support growth for small businesses; this includes a proposed 22 per cent cut in the Corporate Income Tax rate for small businesses
- More people will be able to find affordable homes through an increased housing supply, protection for buyers and renters, and stability in the real estate market through the Fair Housing Plan
- Creating a third pillar of the postsecondary education system will allow students at Indigenous Institutes to receive diplomas and degrees
- GO Regional Express Rail and numerous highway projects will allow businesses to move goods to market faster and reduce commute times across the province; Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) fare will reduce its fare to $1.50 for PRESTO card users transferring between GO Transit or the Union Pearson Express and the TTC
If you require more information on any of these items or the fall economic statement, our team of consultants is available to provide further detail.