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Ontario Government 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update


2020 ECONOMIC

AND FISCAL UPDATE

   
   

2020 Economic and Fiscal Update

In an effort to draw full attention to mitigating both the health and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Ontario has elected to delay the release of its annual Budget. 

Instead, on March 25, the government released an economic and fiscal update entitled, “Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19,” which provides a one-year economic forecast and the government’s initial response plan to the COVID-19 crisis. The response plan consists of a proposed $17 billion package, with measures intended to complement the federal response. 

Note that we can expect a formal Budget no later than November 15, 2020.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY? 

BUSINESS SUPPORTS

The government announced plans to:

  • Defer $6 billion of provincially administered taxes (April 1 to August 31)
  • Defer $1.9 billion of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums and expenses for employers for 6 months
  • Work with municipal partners to defer $1.8 billion in property taxes for 90 days (including the provincial education tax)
  • Postpone the 2021 property tax reassessment 
  • Retroactively reduce the Employer Health Tax (EHT) and temporarily increase the exemption from $490,000 to $1 million
  • Help support regions lagging in employment growth with the proposed new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
  • Support energy affordability for small business, farm, and residential consumers with approximately $5.6 billion towards electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21, an increase of approximately $1.5 billion compared to the 2019 Budget plan

OTHER SUPPORTS

The government announced plans to:

  • Invest an additional $3.3 billion in health care resources beyond what was budgeted last year. This includes:
    • $935 million towards the hospital sector
    • $160 million towards public health funding to support COVID-19 monitoring, surveillance, testing, and Telehealth Ontario
    • $243 million for surge capacity in the long-term care sector
    • $75 million to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to front-line staff
  • Provide $26 million in additional support to Indigenous peoples and communities 
  • Help families pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those under 21 with special needs
  • Double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months
  • Defer loan payments and interest accrual for six months for Ontario Student  Assistance Program (OSAP) borrowers


Read the OCC's full rapid policy update and read Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update)

If you have any questions about the rapid policy update, please contact Ashley Challinor, VP of Policy

   
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