[Hpn] Fwd: ACT-CUTS-ONT-L: Billions for rich, zero for the homeless

Graeme Bacque gbacque@idirect.com
Tue, 02 May 2000 01:36:20 -0400

------------forwarded message------------
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 01:21:38
From: Michael Shapcott <mshapcot@web.net>
Subject: ACT-CUTS-ONT-L: Billions for rich, zero for the homeless
Reply-To: act-cuts-ont-l@list.web.net

What's in Ontario's year 2000 provincial budget?

One billion bucks right away in tax cuts for corporations.

One billion bucks right away in tax cuts for the wealthiest ten percent of

Nothing (as in zero) now or ever for new affordable housing or services for
the homeless.

The Budget Speech by Ontario Finance Minister Ernie Eves doesn't even
mention either of the "h" words (housing or homelessness).

In background documents, the sales of new ownership housing are lauded as
being "brisk".

What is also brisk in Ontario is the increase in homelessness in places
like Barrie, Hamilton-Wentworth, Kitchener-Waterloo, North Bay,
Ottawa-Carleton, Peel, Peterborough and Toronto, along with other communities.

Another bit of briskness is the growing number of tenant households that
are being pushed to the brink of homelessness - more than 300,000
households across the province or about one in every four tenant households.

And, of course, the rise in applications by landlords to evict tenants who
can no longer afford to pay their rent is also very brisk indeed. There are
an average of 500 applications for evictions filed every week in Toronto,
and plenty more in other parts of the province.

Minister Eves dismissed housing and homelessness when questioned by
reporters during the budget lock-up by saying, "there will always be
homeless people".

* * *

Quick look at some facts and figures from the Ontario Budget.

Budget Working Group
Ontario Alternative Budget

Ontario Budget 2000-1 Fact Sheet

May 2, 2000

What's a billion?

Corporations are the big winners. They get a down payment of $1 billion
this year towards and eventual cut of $3.95 billion (over the next five

The budget turns over $2.5 billion in personal income tax cuts -- $1
billion to the highest-income 10% of taxpayers.

Debt reduction gets $1 billion, with another $1 billion for debt reduction
hidden in Ministry budgets.

What could a billion buy in our social programs?

$1 billion would avoid any further cuts to public education, and provide
significant new funding to offset past cuts

$3/4 billion would restore social assistance rates to their 1995 levels;
eliminate the provincial claw-back of the National Child Benefit Supplement

$3/4 billion would put Ontario back in the affordable housing business,
creating over 5,000 units of affordable housing a year.

$3/4 billion would make a solid start on a real Early Years Program
combined with a major expansion of child care spaces and the introduction
of $5/day child care.

It's all about priorities:

The tax give-aways

$3.95 billion in tax cuts for corporations over the next 5 years; $1
billion of it this year.

$2.5 billion in on-going tax personal income tax cuts; $1 billion of the
cut will go to the highest-income 10% of Ontario taxpayers.

A cut of 1/3 in capital gains taxation

68% of taxable capital gains are received by the 2.9% of Ontario taxpayers
with incomes above $100,000

58% of gains are received by the 1.3% with incomes over $150,000

45% of gains are received by the 0.5% with incomes over $250,000

A $1 billion one-time only personal income tax give-away (maximum of $200
per taxpayer).

The spending priorites:

An increase in health care spending, compared with 1999-2000, of $49
million - an increase of 0.0000002%.

NOTHING for housing.

A fifth year of no increases for people receiving social assistance. That
puts their purchasing power 27.5% below where it was when the Conservatives
took office.

A cut of over $100 million - more than 30% -- from the budget of the
Ministry of Environment.

What about "investing in children"?

$210 per child, for single parent families -- $10 million per year for five

$54 million for a variety of children's programs in health, sports and

Only $32 million in ongoing funding for a total of 5 new programs

$22 million in one-time only money, spread over as many as four years

A re-announcement of the Early Years Challenge Fund ($30 million, not
counted in the total above)

$254 million for education - an increase of 1.5%

$101 million for a partial reversal of previous cuts to junior kindergarten	

$70 million in additional special education funding

$70 million for a primary reading program

$5 million for a prevention program for children at risk off abuse

The $254 million for education compares with a cut, in real per student
terms, of $1.7 billion.

For more information about the Ontario Alternative Budget, contact:

Hugh Mackenzie, 416-544-5970;  hmackenzie@uswa.ca
Andrea Calver, 416-441-3714;   ocsj@sympatico.ca
Ross McClellan, 416-443-7687;  rmcclellan@ofl-fto.on.ca

Background information about the Alternative Budget is on the OFL web site
at www.ofl-fto.on.ca

* * * * * * * * * * *

Release of the Ontario Alternative Budget

Friday May 5th - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Elementary Teachers' Federation office
480 University Avenue, 13th Floor
(North west corner of Dundas and University) Free

RSVP - Andrea Calver, Ontario Coalition for Social Justice 416-441-3714 or

Experts will make presentation in the major budget areas of Health,
Education, Social Services, Childcare, Environment, and Post-Secondary

Representatives of provincial groups and community activists are invited to
this special event that will provide information and materials on the real
state of the province's finances.


Housing for all

The One Percent Solution - a national
strategy to end homelessness in Canada

Michael Shapcott
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
E-mail - mshapcot@web.net