Fall Economic Statement

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 15th, Finance Minister Vic Fidelli rose in the Legislature to present the government’s Fall Economic Statement.  Features of this financial and legislative roadmap that will be of interest to contractors are as follows:

  • GDP is expected to grow by 2% in 2018, 1.8% in 2019, 1.7% in 2010 and 1.5% in 2021
  • To maintain business tax competitiveness for with the US, the provincial government will introduce accelerated depreciation measures, will maintain the lower small business corporate income tax rate and will increase the Employer Health Tax exemption threshold from $450,000 in payroll to $490,000
  • The provincial deficit was pegged at $14.5B, down $500M from the time when the Tories assumed office little more than five months ago; this is the result of $3.2B in savings already implemented and $2.7B in new spending or foregone revenue (tax spending)
  • The Fall Economic Statement did not prescribe the journey to budget balance (look for that in the March 2019 budget)
  • The government will introduce the Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit, effective January 1, 2019, which will exempt low-income earners from paying provincial income tax; this measure is estimated to benefit 1.1 million people and cost the government $495 million in foregone revenue
  • The government will conduct a review of the workers compensation system to ensure it remains sustainable in the future
  • There will be a review of Metrolinx and possible amendments to the Metrolinx Act
  • Work will resume on the GTA West highway corridor
  • An Open for Business Action Plan will be initiated to reduce the burden of red tape and unnecessary regulation by 25% by 2022
  • The government will conduct a review of power prices for industrial power consumers with public input
  • The government will introduce an environmental plan to fight climate change
  • The government will launch a Housing Supply Action Plan to address housing affordability and grow supply
  • New rental units built after the date of the Fall Economic Statement will be exempted from rent control

The full document is available at the following link  https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/fallstatement/2018/fes2018-en.pdf: