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Hampton calls statement ‘feeble gesture’

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NDP leader and local MPP Howard Hampton charged the Conservative government’s economic statement released yesterday is a feeble gesture at a time when Ontario’s economy needs bold and new ideas.

“Everybody but the Conservatives realizes the world has changed,” Hampton said. “But they persist with their dead-end policy of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

“There’s nothing here for the unemployed, nothing for consumers, and nothing for the least well off in this province,” he argued.

Hampton repeated his call for a three-month PST holiday to encourage consumer spending. He also reiterated the need for a raise in the minimum wage to $7.50 to help 500,000 employees.

As well, Hampton again demanded the Conservatives halt the privatization and deregulation of our public electricity system.

“This is a practical package of new ideas to cure what ails the provincial economy. The old Conservatives ideas have led to a dead end,” Hampton said.

He said the provincial government should have put aside revenue to invest in assistance programs for the newly-unemployed and for communities losing major employers.

Instead, the Conservatives are suggesting more cuts are coming to vital provincial services.

“Ontario has gone through the biggest boom since the 1950s, thanks to U.S. economy,” Hampton said. “But the revenue we need to pump into better schools and health care has been wasted away on tax cuts for banks.”

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