February 10, 2015 Toronto –  When it comes to balancing Ontario's mammoth budget deficit, Ontario's government health insurance monopoly is still the elephant in the room.  That is the central message of the Freedom Party of Ontario's fourth annual "Opposition Budget" released today.  It is the only balanced Ontario budget plan for 2015 released by any registered political party in the province.

2015 Budget

Click on image, or here, to read the 2015 Opposition Budget

"Balancing the Ontario budget this year, and every year, is the right thing to do", says Freedom Party leader, Paul McKeever, "but it cannot be done by introducing additional taxes.  Over the intermediate and long terms, the introduction of additional taxes, such as a carbon tax, will simply drive more businesses, and taxpayers, out of the province, and worsen the deficit.  

"It remains the case that, to balance the budget and keep it balanced, we must take health care off-budget, end the government health insurance monopoly imposed by the PC government in 1969, and subject OHIP to competition from the private sector.

"Right now, health care is consuming approximately 61.2% of Ontario provincial tax revenues.  Education spending (including universities) consumes more than the remaining 38.8%.  All interest payments on the provincial debt, and all other government functions - 23 other ministries - are paid for with non-tax revenues, with federal transfers, or by borrowing and adding to the debt.

"To grasp the immensity of the problem, consider this.  If the government were to make no reductions to the budgets of health care, education, and welfare then the government would have to eliminate entirely as many as 19 (i.e., 86.4% of) the remaining 22 ministries (i.e., the 19 smallest Touchable ministries, having total expenditures of $10.477B) to balance the budget in 2015.   Whether by making cuts to the expenditures of those 22 ministries, or by closing as many as 19 of them, the impact on such things as justice, child services, transportation, aboriginal affairs, energy, the environment, citizenship/immigration etc. would be so large as to render some or all of those services either utterly dysfunctional or non-existent.  If the budget is to be balanced, and Ontario's financial future secured, we must face the issue of health care, and do the necessary restructuring now."  

Freedom Party's 2015 Opposition Budget proposes a distinctly different course of action than that which otherwise might be proposed in the government's spring budget: 

- a balanced budget in 2015 and thereafter; 
- competition and efficiency in health care insurance and delivery;
- major individual and corporate tax relief; 
- merging Ontario's many consumption taxes into the CRA-collected HST;
- health care protection for those of lesser means; and
- creating North America's #1 jurisdiction for earning and production.

The Opposition Budget also explains why the five most commonly proposed ways to balance the budget simply cannot work:

- Treating Health, Education, and Welfare as Untouchables
- Erroneous Proposals to Eliminate ABCs 
- Eliminating Waste” and “Cutting Red Tape”
- Logan’s Run Revisited
- The Annie State

Freedom Party's Opposition Budget is being submitted to Finance Minister Charles Sousa today as part of the 2015 budget consultation process.  

For more information, contact:

Paul McKeever, Leader - Freedom Party of Ontario

Office: 106 Stevenson Road South, Oshawa, Ontario L1J 5M1

e-mail: pmckeever@freedomparty.on.ca

Freedom Party of Ontario

240 Commissioners Road West
London, Ontario

Twitter: fpontario