Ontario budget 2014: Liberals not worried about credit downgrade
The Ontario Liberal government will be presenting its budget today, dismissing claims that it will lead to a pricey downgrade for the province’s credit rating.
Concerns about the province’s ability to eradicate the $12.5 billion deficit in three years lead New York-based Moody’s to lower Ontario’s outlook from stable to negative.
Moody’s made it clear it didn’t approve of the budget on May 1, according to Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Wilson.
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Rejection of the May 1 budget by oppositions parties lead to June’s provincial election. The subsequent majority win by Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals means the exact same budget will be tabled today.
The budget was "a hodgepodge of new programs and expanded spending" that Ontario simply cannot afford, said Wilson.
However, Finance Minister Charles Sousa says the credit rating agencies like the fact the Liberals won a majority on June 12, saying investors are pleased there is a "more stable" government.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she has concerns that the budget will allow "the wholesale sell-off" of assets like the LCBO and Hydro One and that the Liberals aren't coming clean about the need for massive layoffs to balance the books.
With files from The Canadian Press