Toronto – January 18, 2014 – Statistics Canada has released December job numbers for Ontario and the picture isn’t pretty with the province shedding 39,000 jobs, most of them full time and the unemployment rate rising to 7.9%.
On the heels of these numbers Ontario Conservative boss Hudak has released his latest ‘jobs plan. The problem with Hudak’s plan is it is the same old rhetoric we have been hearing from his mean spirited Conservative pals in Ottawa.
Let’s take a look at some of their solutions:
Cut taxes for their corporate friends: The Liberals have already cut the provincial corporate tax rate to 11.5%. A further tax cut will simply benefit already profitable corporations and rob the province of billions in revenue. Hudak’s pal Harper has also been cutting corporate taxes but the fact is corporate tax cuts haven’t stimulated business investment. In fact, the Task Force on Competitiveness concluded that after a decade of tax cuts, governments got little in return. Corporate tax rates have been reduced to record lows and corporations have hoarded over $500 billion rather than investing in R&D, new equipment, and job creation.
Cut public services and jobs and freeze salaries: Great solution! Unemployment is rising so let’s eliminate even more jobs. But Hudak is going to have to cut tens of thousands of jobs and continue to cut programs like Full-Day Kindergarten to make up for the loss of revenue due to his tax cuts that don’t guarantee a single job.
Eliminate burdensome red tape: More Conservative code words for removing government regulations for their corporate friends. Lately we have seen lots of examples of what Conservatives like Hudak think is burdensome red tape — like allowing rail cars full of volatile fuels to sit unattended in the heart of a small town, or the elimination of food inspectors resulting in tainted meat scandals. Have we already forgotten about Walkerton which was the result of the elimination of burdensome red tape the last time Hudak was in government?
And let us not forget some of Hudak’s other announcements like his ‘right to work for less’ legislation, empowering employers to offer even less to their employees.
The only thing Hudak’s ‘job plan’ has to offer Ontario’s unemployed is more hard times — and any jobs you may be lucky to find will be precarious, part time or casual, pay minimum wage, and offer no benefits. But isn’t that the way Hudak’s old pals at Walmart want it, especially while they benefit from a further round of tax cuts?