Category: Ontario Government Budgets

Analysis of Ontario’s per capita spending reductions on programs like… health

Impressive — program level analysis of Ontario provincial budget from Doug Allen to the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions. It incorporates a longer view of where we have been and are going.

The Ontario government spent 1.6 per cent less of provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to the other provinces in 2010-11. With sharp cutbacks in Ontario, that gap had increased to 2.1 per cent by 2014/15. On this basis, Ontario spent about $15-billion less on programs than the other provinces and territories. On a per capita basis, Ontario is the lowest spending (and lowest revenue) provincial government in Canada. Ontario spent $1,200 less per person in 2010/11 than the other provinces and territories and almost $2,000 less per person in 2014/15. Here the gap is even larger – Ontario spent about $27-billion less on a per capita basis than the other provinces and territories.

Total Provincial/Territorial Government Programs

Source: graph developed from Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI): Data tables – Appendix D.3: Total Provincial/Territorial Government Programs, by Province/Territory and Canada, 1974–1975 to 2014–2015.

The gap is almost certainly growing. In 2015/16 Ontario program spending increased at less than 2/3rd the rate of nominal economic growth, according to the 2016/17 budget. That budget also forecasts increased spending to go up just less than 1 per cent in 2016/17 – or about a quarter of the forecast nominal economic growth. Ontario program spending will continue to decline as a share of the economy. These real funding cuts are having a serious impact on public services

See more of the article and ensuing links.