May 24, 2019
There is no single neoliberal budgetary framework that has guided every single state, other than an underlying faith in ‘expansionary austerity’ – fiscal restraint to encourage business investment. After the ‘shock therapy’ of the initial Harris budgets in the mid-90s, Ontario fiscal policy has been focused on budgetary balance and total debt reduction. Ontario budgetary practice has been to keep nominal growth in spending below the combined rate of growth in inflation and output to steadily reduce the size of government as a portion of the provincial economy. As a result, Ontario sits last among the provinces in per capita government expenditures and more than $2000 below the average for the rest of Canada.