The government is on track to balance the budget by 2017–18 in a fair and responsible way. This will mean new strategic investments to spur growth, create jobs, strengthen services and help families. The world’s recovery from the global recession remains uncertain, and many families are still feeling unsure about their job security and their financial future.
Should global economic conditions falter, causing revenues to fall further, the government’s continued priority will be to protect investments in jobs, growth and families ahead of short-term targets. Stronger growth and new jobs are the surest and fairest path to balancing the budget. These investments will be critical to helping foster the growth necessary to both support Ontario’s families and generate revenues necessary to support eliminating the deficit.
For four years in a row, the government has overachieved on the deficit targets it established after the 2009 global recession based on disciplined actions to reduce spending. In September, the 2012–2013 Public Accounts of Ontario reported that the deficit for 2012–13 was $9.2 billion — $0.6 billion lower than projected at the time of the 2013 Budget.
The 2013 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review projects that the deficit for 2013–14 will be $11.7 billion, on track with the 2013 Budget forecast and more than $1.0 billion ahead of the deficit projection for 2013–14 outlined in the 2012 Budget. The outlook for program spending in 2013–14, at $117.0 billion, remains unchanged from the 2013 Budget forecast and the 2012 Budget projection.
Ontario continues to face global economic uncertainty, which is holding back economic growth and therefore the outlook for Provincial revenues. Since the 2013 Budget, slower growth in the United States has resulted in a lower forecast for economic growth in Ontario.