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Province on track to meet targets

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The government’s proposed Healthy Homes Renovation tax credit will enable Ontario seniors to stay in their homes longer, benefit taxpayers by relieving pressures on long-term care home costs, and help create jobs and grow the economy.

Effective Oct. 1, 2011 and worth up to $1,500 per year, the tax credit would support about $800 million in home renovation activity and around 10,500 jobs in Ontario each year.

The cost of the proposed tax credit would be offset by savings in other areas so that fiscal targets would continue to be met.

Despite lower projections for economic growth, Ontario remains on track to meet its fiscal targets projected in the 2011 budget while still protecting health care and education.

This includes a $16-billion deficit in 2011-12 and steadily declining deficits of $15.2 billion in 2012-13 and $13.3 billion in 2013-14, as outlined in the balanced budget plan.

Confronted with the challenge of providing world-class public services and a balanced budget in a time of slow economic growth, the provincial government set a target in the 2011 budget of holding growth in overall program spending to 1.4 percent.

Given the current global economic uncertainty, the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, chaired by Don Drummond, is expected to recommend the target for spending growth should be one percent.

The government will consider this and other advice as it prepares the 2012 budget.

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