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Press Releases 2004

May 18, 2004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LIBERAL BUDGET BREAKING FAITH WITH
THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO

Litany of Broken Promises, Tax Hikes and Service Cuts Loom in
Wake of Inaugural Liberal Budget

(Queen's Park) With the unveiling of the Liberal government's first budget, the Province of Ontario has started back down the slippery slope towards astaggering economy, job loss and recession. Despite the more than 230 promises made by the Liberals in the last election, they have charted a new course that will see taxes increase more than 20 times over the next year, and the provincial debt rise by $12 billion by 2007.

"In true Liberal fashion, this government has released a budget that will have Ontarians pay more and get less," said Frank Klees, MPP Oak Ridges.   "It is clear that the Liberals have every intention of breaking faith with the people of Ontario, and that they have no concern for the long-term health of our economy or our critical programs."

Some of the key impacts of the 2004 Liberal Budget include:

•  $1.6 billion-personal income tax hike to pay for health care premiums;

•  $3.9 billion-electricity rate hike;

•  Increases to taxes on liquor, beer, wine and tobacco;

•  Delisting of key health services such as eye exams, physiotherapy and chiropractic services;

•  50% increase in driver's licence fees;

•  Elimination of the Ontario Home Ownership Savings Program;

•  Elimination of critical tax credits such as, the Workplace Accessibility Tax Incentive, the Workplace Child Care Tax Incentive, and income tax incentives for electricity supply and conservation;

•  65% increase in user fees payable by the average Ontarian.

"Premier McGuinty has become the poster child for political cynicism in our country," said Klees. "When the PC Party was first elected in 1995, we laid out our plan for Ontario and committed to honouring the faith that the people of Ontario placed in our government. With this budget, it seems that the Premier and the Liberal government are determined to destroy that same faith."

"The Official Opposition will not stand idly by and watch this government tear down the economic foundation and the one million new jobs that we helped create over the past eight years," said Klees. "Ontario's employers and families have worked too hard to have the Liberal government's reckless tax-and-spend agenda erode global confidence in our province. We will continue to stand opposed to higher taxes and fight to protect the vital services that Ontarians value most."

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For further information:

Frank Klees, MPP                                                                            

Oak Ridges

905-707-3160