Higher tax revenues lead to lower Ontario deficit, minister says

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Finance Minister Vic Fideli
"The third quarter finances show that our government's plan to get Ontario back on track is yielding positive results," said Fedeli.

TORONTO — Ontario’s finance minister says $1 billion in higher sales and income tax revenues have pushed the province’s deficit down to $13.5 billion.

Vic Fedeli released Ontario’s 2018-19 third-quarter finances today and says the higher revenues show the government’s plan is working.

Ontario’s financial accountability officer has said the deficit is actually about $2.5 billion lower.

Opposition politicians have accused the Progressive Conservative government of inflating the deficit so it can justify cuts to programs and services.

Fedeli says the next budget will show a path to balance, though he wouldn’t specify if the government will eliminate the deficit within its four-year mandate.

Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy says he has directed ministries to limit spending until fiscal year end of March 31.