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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hudak’s “million jobs plan” is the economic tonic Ontario needs

Tim Hudak says, if elected, his Progressive Conservative government would create one million net new jobs over eight years. Hudak also promises he’d cut 100,000 jobs from the public sector.

This pledge has launched a furious debate over the chances that the PCs could actually create that many new jobs, and the damage critics claim will be done to government services if 100,000 public sector jobs were cut.

Both the Grits and the Dippers are slamming the cuts to public sector jobs, of course, since both parties are heavily supported by public sector unions that supply them with funding, third-party advertising and campaign volunteers. No surprise there.

Hudak’s promise to eliminate 100,000 jobs in the broader civil service would represent about 10 per cent of that sector’s jobs and would leave us with about the same number of public sector workers as we had in 2009.

Considering many of the jobs would be eliminated through attrition as workers retire or move on to the private sector and others reductions would result from outsourcing, the number of actual layoffs will not be anywhere near 100,000. Furthermore, the cuts won’t all come at once, but will be spread over the PCs first term.

Moreover, the hit to the economy will be mitigated by the fact retirees will receive generous government pensions and many of the outsourced jobs will have to be filled. In other words, these jobs will not all be lost to the province’s economy.

Let’s face it, something has to be done to scale back the size of our government. At some point, the leader of the province has to face down the public sector unions, for surely we must eventually balance the province’s books.

Even the normally free-spending federal Liberals learned in the 1990s there is a limit to how much debt we can accumulate. Back then, they had to implement severe austerity measures including the slashing of transfer payments to provinces, which caused extreme distress to Ontario’s health care sector’s budgets.

Hudak promises that doctors, nurses and police would all be spared so essential services should remain intact. Kathleen Wynne, though, has tried to scare Ontarians into believing the PCs’ cuts would impact the quality of our drinking water. Mind you, it is her Liberals who cut funding to the Clean Water Centre at Walkerton. Ontario.

When Wynne used the tragic deaths in 2000 of Walkerton residents for crass political gain, she failed to mention the million-dollar funding cuts her own Liberal government had made to the Walkerton-based research facility in 2011 and 2013: provincial funding went from $5-million in 2010 to $3-million in 2013.

How dangerous was that to Ontarians’ water quality, I wonder? As Kathleen Wynne said during her infamous visit to Walkerton, “Cuts have consequences.”

It does seem, though, that Walkerton residents have Wynne’s number, for they are represented in the Ontario legislature by Lisa Thompson, a Progressive Conservative MPP.

There are those that say 100,000 public sector jobs is too high a price to pay for balancing Ontario’s budget one year earlier— Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa say they’ll do it by 2017-18. The Liberals, though, have increased the deficit two years in a row and have refused to make needed cuts to spending. Instead, their recent budget contains a slew of new spending on infrastructure and social programs.

Charles Sousa insists he can still meet his ultimate goal of balancing the budget by 2017-18, but he’s relying almost entirely on economic growth driven by government spending. There isn’t a credible economist who believes Wynne-Sousa will meet their target on time without harsh austerity measures and/or large tax increases. The longer Sousa waits, the deeper the cuts will be and/or the greater the tax increases will be—and those increases won’t all come from corporations.

As early as February, 2013, Kathleen Wynne’s civil servants told her that she would have to make deep cuts to meet deficit-reduction targets or she’d have to hike taxes. Instead, she’s increased spending a lot and raised taxes a little.

Perhaps, like federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau apparently believes, Wynne and Sousa believe the budget will balance itself.

As to Hudak’s plan to add one million net new jobs over eight years, I think it’ll be a stretch. On the positive side, Sandy Crux explains here why she believes it can be done. Sandy points out statistics for the period between 1995 and 2002/3 show it’s possible. 

Ted Mallett, an economist with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, is reported to have said that based on unemployment of 6.2 per cent and standard economic predictions, the economy will produce about 500,000 jobs. Add Hudak’s key promises: cheaper energy, more free trade, less red tape, lower taxes and more skilled trades, and we could very well get there.

Unlike the bitter vetch we’ve been fed by the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals for the past decade, Hudak’s million jobs plan seems like the economic tonic Ontario needs.

6 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. Million jobs has been done and under tougher circumstances given the feds were liberal expansionist, and the private sector didn't have the internet tools or inter exhange of knowledge & ideas it has now.
    and yet they pulled it off in that period.

    Tim Hudak by extension will actually have it easy and I "predict" using simplified deduction that the private sector will indeed double that.
    Thrice that if they phase out the minimum wage entirely, given that it is literally the "worst economic policy ever" implemented(h/t, Milton Friedman, Walter E. Williams, Thomas Sowell & others).
    The first province to do so will discover a newly rediscovered natural renewable resource called "youth".

    Also that a private sector that knows it won't have to face various creatively punitive tax schemes or spontaneous rights removed on the usual Liberal/NDP whim...

    so mad I can't sign in to take credit for this but for blogging Tories its not hard to guess who this is. ~tao_taier ( will come back to confirm once I do.)

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  2. According to this blogger (http://paulsrants-paulsstuff.blogspot.ca/2014/05/unifor-ecoconomist-jim-stanfords.html), quoting a left-leaning economist, the million-jobs plan has a serious math error.
    Apparently, Hudak's team made a critical error. They appear to have used cumulative totals over eight years to arrive at an annual number, then multiplied this number by 8 to come up with an eight-year total. In addition, they are including the 500,000 jobs that the Wynne govt predicts Ontario will add. Factoring in the 100,000 job reduction, and even ignoring the collateral jobs that will be lost as a result, Hudak's team needs to show that there will be 600,000 net new jobs created.
    A preliminary reading suggests they might not have done that. And if that's the case, it would be a serious mistake indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha-hah! There, sorted that out.
      Now I can post on other blogs again!

      @Chirantan Basu,

      Did you even read his post above? Overwhelming evidence and my comments should surely point you in the right direction.

      Something related, http://paulsrants-paulsstuff.blogspot.ca/2014/05/liberal-finance-minister-sousa-gets.html

      +1 million jobs is easily feasible. Now that our comments have been reviewed and posted you should be able to conclude the same or similar.

      Onatrio is only over a dozen million population last I checked and could pull a big draw from states like Michigan, which are going through uneasy transformations after decades/half century of union & democrat rule.

      Delete
    2. Uh, did you actually read what's posted on that blog? I did. In fact I wrote it as it's my blog. Reread it and you will see that the million jobs plan is actually doable. By the Liberals own estimates 523,000 jobs will normally be created through growth. The tax reductions Stanford talks about will create roghly 65,000 jobs.

      Hudak's exact words were the tax reductions will HELP create 1 million jobs. Lower electricity costs, bureaucracy like WSIB premiums, and lower interest payments on our debt which will allow investment in infrastucture.

      Delete
  3. if tim is going to dump 100,000 civil service jobs I hope he starts at the top.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Forgot to note the that the minimum wage cut/phased abolishment would have to come in the next tax year, after the income tax cut sets in. Maybe by that time the concept of Negative Income Tax benefits finally takes hold and implemented. That would be another million jobs right there for all the people fleeing left wing jurisdictions in the states & here. Should send the signal to other jurisdictions & levels of government, to embrace Tax Competition to be tailored to their own constituents needs. Less one size fits all centralized government nonsense.

    Also excellent job you did on this blog entry. Despite an obvious typo.

    ReplyDelete

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