Taxing the rich, cutting hydro rates, cash for hospitals among Ontario NDP plans

Ontario’s NDP want to hike taxes on the rich and large corporations in order to spend big on hospitals, child care and tuition.

In a dramatic change from the 2014 election campaign where the party campaigned to the centre of the political spectrum with poor results — the NDP will campaign in the same territory as the Liberals.

The party is promising new programs and spending for all voting blocks and the party has even more on the table for millennials struggling with student debt:

  • Replacing student loans with non-repayable grants
  • Ending interest payments on outstanding student loans
  • Average $12-a-day child care
  • Drug and dental coverage
  • 5.3 per cent annual increase for hospital budgets
  • Cutting hydro rates by 30 per cent

Parents earning less than $40,000 per year will pay nothing for public, not-for-profit daycare, according to the party’s platform. However, party staff could not explain what the costs would be for other parents. The average cost will be $12 per day for child care but how quickly those costs go up and how high they will go wasn’t explained.

Officials said 70 per cent of Ontario families will either pay nothing for daycare or up to $12. The highest income earners would still pay full costs for daycare.

Party officials maintained the plan to cut Hydro rates by 30 per cent and bring Hydro One back under government control wouldn’t cost the government. Instead they maintained it could all be done with the existing dividends the government earns from Hydro One and by changing fee structures for ratepayers.

For example, the party said it would remove time-of-use billing and the rural delivery charges paid by rate payers.

The NDP are pledging to spend more than the Liberals are but run smaller deficits by hiking corporate and personal income taxes along with other boutique tax changes.

  • Raising corporate taxes by 1.5 percentage points
  • Hike taxes for people earning more than $220,000
  • 3 per cent surtax for cars costing more than $90,000
  • A housing speculation tax for Ontario homeowners who don’t pay tax in the province

Increases to personal income tax for people earning more than $220,000 will replace the Liberal’s plan simplify the existing tax brackets and raise taxes on people making $92,000 or more.

The proposed hike to the corporate income tax would push Ontario’s corporate income tax higher than the tax in states like New York and Michigan. It would also push Ontario’s corporate income tax above provinces like Quebec, B.C. and Alberta.

More to come…