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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Omemee Farmer? Bad 2016 Ontario Budget News!

Omemee Pigeon eFlyer Wants to Know -What Do You Think About the 2016 Ontario Budget? 

In February, the Liberal Government of Ontario under the leadership of Ms. Wynne, shared their budget for 2016 - 2017. It held some bad news for Omemee farmers and rural folks without access to public transit.
image farmer in field with tractor
Omemee  Farmers - Facing Bad 2016 Ontario Budget News!
How will the budget affect your family?
Here are a few of the highlights we gleaned from the CBC News coverage of the 2016 Ontario budget.

 2016 Ontario Budget Highlights

Free University and College Education!
Starting 2017, some students will get free college and university tuition!
Free?
Yes free!
If a student's family income is less than $50K per year,starting in 2017 , they will be eligible for free tuition at college or university!
Result?
We predict this will help bring down the unemployment rate as more students will attend post-secondary education. In addition, this will give Ontario a more highly skilled workforce. A long-term consequence of this action will be that students that typically graduated with huge student debt will have more disposable income since they will not be paying back student loans. More disposable income means greater spending power, and greater possible income tax revenues.
More Seniors Eligible for Drug Coverage
Now seniors with a bit higher income will also be eligible for drug coverage.
Starting August 1, 2016, the income thresholds to qualify for the low-income seniors’ benefit will increase from $16,018 to $19,300 for single seniors and from $24,175 to $32,300 for senior couples, consistent with the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) income levels.
True, seniors with more income than those levels will have a larger deductible, but this measure does help more low-income seniors than before.

How Will The Government Cover 2016 Ontario Budget Freebies?

 Sin Taxes Increased Temptations Increased!
 Cigarette taxes increased by $3 per carton as of midnight on budget day.
Is today the day you'll finally quit?
Taxes on wine will increase.
Beer and alcohol will now be available for sale in grocery stores.
Will the increased ease in accessing alcohol increase its consumption?
We believe it will.
This will increase government revenues through alcohol taxes.
Cuts to Payments that Favour Higher-Income Families
Removing the children's activity tax credit. The $500 tax credit for kids dance lessons and sports will be removed. This is something that benefitted only those families who had the money to pay for these activities - call it the country club grant.
Increased Gas Tax Revenues
The "Green Tax" will endeavour to encourage large polluters to decrease their emissions. At the gas pumps it adds 4.3 cents per litre on the price of gas.
Yikes!
We were just getting used to a bit of relief at the pump with the lower price of oil per barrel. So we will be back to essentially the same price as just before Christmas, but more of the money will go towards programmes that will help the Ontario economy, and less into the pockets of the oil companies.
While this may encourage people to use more public transit where it is available, here in rural Ontario, it's a hard hit.
Result?
This may increase online shopping from retailers who do not charge for delivery. So, in the long run this may hurt the Ontario economy.
Cutting Diesel Tax Break for Farmers! 
This was not well thought out.
Yes, removing the coloured diesel tax break for farmers may put more money in the government coffers at first glance, but in the long run, it is terrible for both the Ontario economy and may ultimately result in less money being available to government coffers through taxes.
How?
Removing the coloured diesel tax break for farmers will create higher costs for farmers to produce our food and translate into higher costs for Ontario-produced food for everyone! Let's follow this thread.>

  •  Higher cost for Ontario produced foods? 
  • This may mean less purchases of local food. 
  • Fewer purchases of local food? 
  • Farmers go broke and stop producing local food. 
  • Fewer farmers growing Ontario food? 
  • Now we have even less in the government coffers! 
We urge Ms. Wynne to take this one back to the drawing board as well as the 4.3 cents per litre tax increase on gas. Ontario is not just full of cities that offer public transportation.
What do you think of the 2016 Ontario budget?
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