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Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MPP Paul Miller

Budget of broken promises: Miller

As you read this column, the Liberals will have tabled their budget in the legislature. This budget, from all of the government’s daily announcements, is yet another list of promises, most of which could fall off the agenda should this government continue in office.

We don’t have to look too far back to see that only the threat of another budget and possible election finally got government action on the financial accountability officer. The FAO will review government major spending proposals before tax dollars can be wasted. The FAO was part of the 2013 support of the NDP to pass that budget. Rather than immediately work on those agreed items, it has taken ongoing pressure to get any results. This isn’t too surprising when we look at the Liberals’ track record of many broken election promises.

It has been an exercise in futility to get to the bottom of so many Liberal financial fiascos.

The cost of the e-health scandal alone, paid into the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund, would have been significant in providing an increase from the 1980 monthly $1,000 benefit to a current value of $2,500. The extraordinary waste from the cancelled gas plant financial fiasco put it into the PBGF, would have properly funded the plan to ensure retirement dignity for workers who deferred their wages to a failed company pension plan.

Liberals will do their usual budget shell game; include crowd-pleasers like an Ontario pension plan, ignoring a well-researched Ontario Retirement Plan put forward by my party. Our plan ensured that anyone already in a workplace retirement plan could opt out and that it was managed by public sector pension plan administrators with excellent track records.

Liberals will demand our budget support touting the pension plan, but won’t tell about the number of other budget items that would negate the benefits of the plan.

The record of successive Liberal governments is appalling when spending our hard earned tax dollars on the things that will benefit the majority. Programs are established that provide jobs for Liberal insiders, with few hard results-based targets, but that inevitably draw down the value of the money that we pay every day for programs that should have the widest positive impact.

The costs of the government’s daily pre-budget/election announcements, leaves me fearful of what programmes will be lost and how much higher taxes will be to pay for the hidden horrors lurking in the budget.

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