Provincial Budget 2012: Why Harm the Vulnerable on the Road to Reform?
The 2012 Ontario Provincial Budget was released Tuesday March 27, 2012. The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) recognizes the significant fiscal pressures faced by the provincial government and finds reasons to be optimistic about some of the proposed plans for reforming policies, delivery and investments in public-benefit programs and services. We are, however, disappointed with the elements of the budget that affect the most vulnerable in communities across Ontario in a negative way.
Having made several concrete suggestions to the Commission on the Reform of Public Services, ONN takes a principled and pro-active approach to public-benefit program and service reform, which involves the following:
- A careful and constructive examination of revenue generation to help the government achieve its fiscal objectives, which meets the principle of “Do No Harm” for those most in need of public-benefit services;
- Meaningful partnerships between the third sector and the provincial government;
- No privatization of public-benefit programs and publicly held assets; and
- Modernization of the government-sector investment relationship.
The Provincial Budget 2012 provides some positive ideas on public-benefit reform and partnership involving the sector, and we are optimistic that actions will follow the policy directives outlined. But some of the measures taken against the most vulnerable fail to meet the principle of “Do No Harm,” with Social Assistance recipients and their families being particularly hard hit, for example.
Moreover, the budget could have attained even greater savings toward the goal of fiscal balance by modestly increasing the marginal tax rate of Ontarians with earnings of $250,000 or more in income. A 2% tax increase to Ontarians with these earnings would have been much easier to absorb than the budget’s current actions on the poorest and most vulnerable in our province.
How Does the Provincial Budget Affect You and Your Sector?
We want to hear from you about the ways in which the Provincial Budget 2012 has made an impact on your organization and your sector. Visit our webpage, Provincial Budget Watch: What Others are Saying to find out what other nonprofits and community organizations are saying about the provincial budget. Please send your feedback and suggestions to Kim.
ONN Meets with the Minister of Finance’s Parliamentary Secretary to Discuss the Provincial Budget
On Wednesday March 21, 2012, Tonya Surman and Pat Bradley from the ONN Steering Committee had a very positive one-hour meeting with Yasir Naqvi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance about key budgetary initiatives from the sector.
Mr. Naqvi was impressed with the brief and promised to meet right after the budget to discuss opportunities to work together on key sector budgetary and policy issues. Click Here to read ONN’s Brief to the Ministry of Finance on the Provincial Budget.
To find out more about ONN’s work on the budget, visit our Drummond Commission Page