The Public Accounts of Ontario for 2014-15 show Ontario’s deficit is $2.2 billion lower than projected in the 2014 Budget and $0.6 billion lower than the interim projection in the 2015 Budget. Ontario’s deficit for 2014-15 is $10.3 billion.
This marks the sixth year in a row that Ontario has beaten its deficit target, making the province one of the few governments in Canada to achieve this level of success. Ontario consistently has the lowest per capita program spending among all Canadian provinces.
Ontario is investing in the Trillium Trust as part of the province’s plan to unlock the value of certain public assets and use the net proceeds to help support investments in transit and transportation infrastructure projects through Moving Ontario Forward. This represents the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history. The Trillium Trust will be used to fund infrastructure projects that will create jobs and strengthen the economy to build Ontario up.
For the first time, the province is using open government principles to present Public Accounts information online, as well as releasing data through Ontario’s Open Data Catalogue. These tools will help to make the information easier to understand and access. This is part of the government’s commitment to be more open and transparent and unlock the power of data in the digital age.
- Balancing the budget by 2017-18 while continuing to make investments that create jobs, expand opportunities and enhance prosperity for all Ontarians is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan.
Total spending for 2014-15 was $128.8 billion, against a planned $130.4 billion. This reflected savings across ministries and their agencies, as well as lower-than-projected interest expense. Over the past four years, the Province has held average annual growth in program spending to 1.4 per cent, less than the rate of inflation, while continuing to invest in priority programs and services like health care and education.
For 2014-15, revenues of $118.5 billion were slightly below the projection of $118.9 billion in the 2014 Budget. Despite the change from forecast, economic growth supported a 2.3 per cent increase in revenues from $115.9 billion in 2013-14. Real provincial gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2.2 per cent in 2014, slightly above the 2.1 per cent forecast in the 2014 Budget.
The Province’s net debt-to-GDP ratio was 39.5 per cent at the end of fiscal 2014-15, compared to the 40.3 per cent forecast in the 2014 Budget. The government continues to maintain a target of reducing the ratio of net debt to the GDP to its pre-recession level of 27 per cent.
- The government’s path to a balanced budget is focused on Program Review, Renewal and Transformation, managing compensation, maximizing the value of provincial assets, and maintaining the integrity of Provincial revenues.
- In 2014, employment in Ontario increased by 54,500 net jobs. Employment has increased by 568,100 net jobs from the recessionary low in June 2009.