NDP demands tax credits worth hundreds of millions to support Liberal budget

TheStar.com – news/canada/politics
Published On Tue Apr 10 2012.   By Tanya Talaga Queen’s Park Bureau

New Democratic Leader Andrea Horwath has now laid out all her budget changes in front of Premier Dalton McGuinty and judging from his reaction, he doesn’t seem impressed.

At Queen’s Park on Tuesday morning, Horwath unveiled her job creation tax credit plan — a strategy that was also part of her party’s 2011 election platform. The idea is to reimburse employers for 10 per cent of the salary paid to a new hire during the first year of employment, up to a maximum of $5,000.

The government is facing a $15.2 billion deficit and needs NDP support in order for the budget to pass. If not, the province could soon plunge into another election.

The other two NDP proposals include an extra tax placed on the rich and $418,000 salary caps for public sector executives, such as hospital chiefs.

Speaking in Windsor, McGuinty said he would have appreciated concise proposals from the NDP on how the government could save more money instead of spending it.

But now that Horwath’s final desires are on the table the government will “respond in due course in an appropriate way” once the full package has been assessed.

“We’ve got to make some difficult choices,” McGuinty said about his plan to cut support to the horse racing industry.

The NDP also want to see natural resources pulled from the ground in northern Ontario processed in the province. The New Democrats also want the electricity sector reviewed in order to bring costs down, and they’d like those areas hit by proposed budget measures like horse racing, tourism and culture to get some “transition” relief.

Progressive Conservative MPP Christine Elliott said the Liberals “protest a little bit too much” about not wanting an election.

The PCs do not support the NDP job tax credit. Elliott said continuing corporate tax reductions — getting Ontario from 11.5 per cent to 10 per cent — is the way to create employment.

Horwath said she doesn’t know if there is a mood for an election in Ontario, but emphasized that the ball is now in the premier’s court. She added it would be “irresponsible” of him to dismiss her budget asks outright.

Horwath quipped that just because she has been disappointed by the Liberals in the past doesn’t mean she’ll give up.

“I’m a fighter,” she said.

The NDP believe a surtax should be put on portions of income above $500,000. This would cost someone earning $600,000 an extra $3,120.

With files from Rob Ferguson

< http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1159012–ontario-budget-2012-ndp-demands-tax-credits-worth-hundreds-of-millions-to-support-liberal-budget >

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