Special to The Globe and Mail
June 10 2014
I was one of the first economists to notice the mathematical problems in the Ontario Progressive Conservative election platform, and to analyze their implications for the party’s centrepiece “million jobs” plan. The party misunderstood its own consulting reports, and consequently magnified (by up to 8 times) the consultants’ estimates of jobs created by various PC policy proposals (like corporate tax cuts and cancelling renewable energy programs).
Other economists confirmed the numbers did not add up, and the muddled math consequently became a major campaign issue.
Now, as the campaign wraps up, it is interesting to look back on the significance of this mathematical fiasco for the choice facing Ontarians. One possible outcome would have been for the Conservatives to simply acknowledge the error and move on. The mistake was likely committed in haste by eager backroom Tory staffers, trying hard to generate the desired million-job total. An error like that is embarrassing, but not defining. Everyone makes mistakes. And as many analysts noted, employment projections are speculative in any event (even when they are added up correctly). The issue would have died in a day or two.
June 10 2014
A Progressive Conservative government under Tim Hudak would be a step backwards for poverty reduction in Ontario, according to a non-partisan analysis of party platforms for the June 12 election released Tuesday.
“All three parties made a commitment: they voted for the Poverty Reduction Act in 2009,” said Greg deGroot-Maggetti of the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction, a provincial coalition dedicated to ensuring all political parties uphold the province’s landmark anti-poverty legislation.
PC Leader Tim Hudak’s “Million Jobs Plan” and corporate tax cut would benefit the wealthiest, argues economist Toby Sanger
Jun 9 2014
The centerpiece of Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak’s “Million Jobs Plan” is a pledge to cut Ontario’s general corporate tax rate – the rate that applies to big business – from 11.5 per cent to 8 per cent, which would set a new low for North America. The Conservatives promote it as something that will create many thousands of jobs and improve the lives make of ordinary Ontarians, but it would do anything but that.
Cutting the corporate tax rate isn’t just the first action item in the PC platform; it’s also the most expensive. According to the Conference Board study the PC party commissioned, this tax cut would cost approximately $20 billion over eight years and an average of $2.5 billion a year, rising to almost $3 billion by 2022.