Today, the Government of Ontario released its Fall Economic Statement. Some key highlights include:
Proposing to extend the current gas tax and fuel tax rate cuts, keeping the rates at 9 cents per litre until June 20, 2024.
Proposing to remove the provincial portion of the HST on new purpose-built rental housing through the Ontario Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) New Residential Rental Property Rebate.
Providing an additional $100M to the Invest Ontario Fund to help attract more leading companies to Ontario.
Creating a new arms-length agency called the Ontario Infrastructure Bank to invest in large-scale infrastructure projects across the province and to attract institutional investors to help build critical infrastructure.
Investing $200M over three years in a new Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund that will protect communities and help unlock new housing opportunities. This complements the recently-announced $1.2B Building Faster Fund to support municipalities achieve their housing targets.
The Ministry of Finance reiterated its intent to undertake a review of the Province’s tax system to support the competitiveness and long-term growth of Ontario businesses.
The Fall Economic Statement also outlined a gradual growth in government program expenses through to 2026, with healthcare, education, and postsecondary education sectors to receive increases in budget.
The Ministry of Finance forecasts that Ontario will face a longer path to fiscal balance than projected in last spring’s budget, as high interest rates and inflation put pressure on the province’s economy. While unemployment remains low, with employment up 1% since April, projections for growth and job creation have been revised downward. The projected deficit for this year has increased to $5.6 billion, up from $1.3 billion in March, with Ontario expected to get back to balance in 2025-2026, with a projected $500-million surplus.
Over the next few days, we will review the details of the Fall Economic Statement in greater depth.
Please note that the Ontario Government will be launching the 2024 Budget Consultation platform and online survey on November 13, 2023. You can share your feedback and ideas by January 31, 2024.
Thank you for your continued support. And, of course, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jessica Ng, PhD
Director, Policy & Government Affairs