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No tax increases in Ontario’s upcoming budget, finance minister says

Ontario’s finance minister says he will present the province’s next budget on March 26 with no tax increases.

The fiscal plan will outline how the government is “rebuilding Ontario’s economy without raising taxes and fees or putting more burden on businesses and municipalities,” Peter Bethlenfalvy wrote in a social media post.

Speaking Thursday after question period, Bethlenfalvy wouldn’t divulge much else about the upcoming budget.

“We’re going to continue to focus on making life a little bit more affordable for people and for businesses,” he said.

When Bethlenfalvy presented an update last month on the province’s finances from the third quarter of this fiscal year he projected Ontario would end the year with a $4.5 billion deficit.

That’s significantly higher than the $1.3 billion deficit for 2023-24 that he was eyeing at the time of last year’s budget.

That budget had Ontario expecting budget surpluses starting in this upcoming year, but it’s unknown if the recent higher deficit projection will now push the path to balance further down the road.

Ontario’s financial accountability officer says the courts finding a public sector wage restraint law known as Bill 124 unconstitutional has led to billions of dollars in higher-than-planned spending this year as the government funds retroactive payments for compensation.

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