Higher tax revenues lead to lower Ontario deficit, minister says

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.