Ontario’s fall fiscal update shows a government trying to undo the damage caused by a year of cuts.
The fall economic statement boosts spending by $1.3 billion — largely due to a reversal of cuts to programs and services that were included in the spring budget.
The government is proposing to reduce the small business corporate income tax rate from 3.5% to 3.2% beginning Jan. 1.
The small business dividend tax credit rate would be reduced from 3.2863% to 2.9863% to correspond to the lower small business rate. Recipients of non-eligible dividends would receive reduced dividend tax credits as a result, the document says.
The shift comes as the Progressive Conservatives are attempting to adopt a new tone following a tumultuous first year-and-a-half in power.
The government is putting an additional $279 million into its autism program following an outcry about service changes.
An extra $310 million is going to social services, including continuing a child benefit it had planned to stop.
Municipalities had also been angered when the government announced cuts to child care, public health and ambulance funding, and today’s fiscal document shows that partial backtracks on those cuts are costing about $189 million.
Ontario’s deficit is now expected to be $9 billion for this fiscal year, down from the $10.3-billion projection in the budget.