THE LIBERAL’S CONTINUE TO BEHAVE LIKE THE GRASSHOPPER AND IGNORE THE LESSONS OF THE ANT: YUREK

News:

(Queen’s Park,Toronto) – Following the budget motion vote today, MPP Jeff Yurek indicted the Liberals for failing to learn the lesson of Aesop’s timeless fable of the grasshopper and the ant.  The current budget contains no credible plan to reign in spending or stimulate private sector job growth.

Aesop’s tale tells the story of a grasshopper that frolics in a meadow throughout the summer and fall while an ant works diligently to build a stockpile of food.  When winter comes, the ant survives while the grasshopper perishes.

Despite the impending harsh winter that is a $411 billion provincial debt, the Liberal’s continue their dangerous spending habits unabated with a $2 billion increase in overall program spending. With this budget, the McGuinty government continues to employ the same type of kick-the-can-down-the-road strategy for which they are known. 

“The fact is the McGuinty government inherited an economic expansion when they came to power.  They subsequently increased our debt, doubled spending from $60 billion to over $120 billion, and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on scandals,” said Mr. Yurek. 

“I don’t blame them for not predicting the 2008 recession but I do blame them for unnecessarily exposing our province to the downturn through their outrageous spending.  They failed to understand the vagaries of our economy just like the grasshopper failed to understand weather patterns.”

Arguably, the biggest challenge facing the reduction of the deficit is public sector compensation which comprises 55% of the provincial budget.  Throughout the last eight years, McGuinty has snubbed the taxpayer and enriched his union boss friends at an unprecedented rate.

“Now, McGuinty says he can negotiate a public sector wage freeze.  He promised the same thing in his 2010 budget.  That year, at a time when many families saw their own incomes decline, McGuinty folded to his union friends and public sector compensation outpaced inflation and grew by 1.8%.

“McGuinty would have much more credibility if he quit basing his negotiation strategy on the Japanese art of origami.”

Credit rating agencies have recognized McGuinty’s inability to curb his spending habits and have made the unprecedented decision to putOntario’s debt on a negative outlook.

In order to take the strong action necessary to reign in government spending, the PC Party has long advocated for a mandatory wage freeze on all public sector employees.  McGuinty’s Liberals have dismissed this idea.

Yurek also criticized the Liberals on their lack of a clear jobs plan. 

“McGuinty seems completely disinterested in getting the 600,000 unemployed people of this province back to work.  They’ve completely ignored our ideas and offered no clear plan of their own.

“I’m proud to stand behind the PC Plan because it is the only plan that will create a positive environment for businesses to thrive; it gets the fundamentals right.”

The riding of Elgin-Middlesex-London has been particularly hard-hit by job losses.  Three major manufacturers have ceased operations inSt. Thomasputting 6,000 people out of work.

“I take it very personally that the McGuinty Liberals are committed to the same failed policies like corporate welfare that costs the province $2.4 billion annually.  Many leading economists have asserted that these policies do nothing to increase prosperity or competitiveness.”

“The Liberals seem intent on continuing to frolic in the meadow on the taxpayer tab, completely oblivious to the economic realitiesOntariofaces.  I could never endorse such a lack of leadership and so I was proud to vote against the budget motion today.”

Quotes:

“I don’t think the Minister of Finance understands the meaning of the word restraint… he’s never exercised restraint before and this budget actually increases spending in 14 out of 24 departments and $2 billion overall” – MPP Jeff Yurek

“It (the Budget) is the same type of plan that kicks the can down the road.  That really does seem to be the McGuinty government’s favourite tactic: promise to take action in the future without having to take real action today.” – MPP Jeff Yurek

“In the last 8 years, the McGuinty government has shown complete disrespect to the Ontario taxpayer and now they’ve taken a my-way-or-the-highway approach that requires all of us to just trust that they know how to balance the budget.  Well their record shows they can’t and they’re current budget shows they won’t.” – MPP Jeff Yurek

Background:

  • From 2003 to 2007, Ontario’s GDP grew by 9.4%, public sector employment grew by 14.7%, and public sector compensation levels grew by 23% – StatsCan
  • “We want more worldclass firms investing here. However, the research indicates that targeted government incentives to attract such investments are not often successful in increasing prosperity in a jurisdiction.” – excerpt from Institute of Competitiveness and Prosperity Study
  • On average, public sector employees in Ontariomake 27% more in wage and benefits than their private sector counterparts – Canadian Federation of Independent Business
  • Greece, Portugal, and Spainexhibit a ratio of public to private sector compensation of 1.30 (i.e. public sector employees make 30% more than private sector employees); France, Germany, and Denmark all exhibit a ratio of less than 1.0 – European Central Bank Working Paper, December 2011

The PC Party Jobs Plan includes the following:

  • Reign in government spending to entice investment;
  • ReduceOntario’s 386,251 regulations by a third;
  • Treat affordable energy as the cornerstone of economic growth;
  • End corporate welfare that costs $2.5 billion annually, and;
  • Modernize the apprenticeship program to create 200,000 new jobs. 

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Media Contact: Jeff Yurek’s Office | P: 416-325-3965 | E: jeff.yurek@pc.ola.org