Cutting hydro bills, free child care for families earning less than $40,000 a year, and tax hikes focused on the wealthy and corporations. Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath unveiled her party’s election platform on Monday.
One of the promises made on Monday was bringing Hydro One back into public hands.
But the big new promise was free child care for families earning less than $40 thousand a year and it isn’t based on age like the Liberal’s plan. “If you earn more than the 40 thousand, your fees will be based on your ability to pay with the average cost of childcare at just $12 a day.” says Horwath
Marvin Ryder from the Degroote School of Business says one thing that is clear is that NDP’s plan will cost employers. “At what income is that? Is that at 50, 60 or 80, 100. We are short on details about that.”
Ryder continues to say, “If you are a business you are not well served by this budget. There’s going to be an increased cost for the dental care, probably on the order of $12 per week per employee.”
The most significant spending was announced on health care. NDP will cut wait times and end hallway medicine. With 2 thousand new hospital beds and $916m this year alone for immediate funding.
“And that seems to be annualized. They suggest over the next 10 years there will be 19 billion dollars for operating costs to hospitals.” says Ryder
Horwath also wants to convert student loans into grants.
“This kind of a platform sets her up for a run for number one but could also be the king maker if there’s a minority situation.” he continues.
The party projects five consecutive deficits to pay for its plan, with a $3.3 billion deficit in 2018-2019 but it’s less than half of what the Liberals projected in their budget.
Tax hikes for the wealthy & corporations drew the loudest cheers of all. “The way we make life better for everyday families to ask those top income earners like Doug Ford and corporations, like Doug Ford’s corporation to pay a little bit more so the rest of us can build a good life here.” says Horwath.
That includes a 1% income tax increase on those earning $220 thousand or more, raising the corporate tax rate to 13%. It’s currently at 11.5%.
And Horwath introduced a new 3% surtax on buying luxury cars that are over $90 thousand.
Other key commitments: 65,000 new affordable housing units, 15,000 new long-term care beds by 2023 and a 15%rate reduction to auto insurance.
Marvin Ryder says, “She’s not trying to be the friend to those people. She’s trying to reach to the middle and lower income people and say “I’ve got some things for you””
The PC’s say they are the only ones who will get Ontario back on track.
The Liberals and the Green Party say they are disappointed that the NDP platform makes no mention of climate change or the environment.