Ontario’s Short-Term Deficit Targets Are Achievable, Central 1 Credit Union Says

TORONTO, ONTARIO (May 3, 2013) – Ontario should be able to meet its deficit targets for the next couple years, but faces spending challenges down the road, said Helmut Pastrick, chief economist for Central 1 Credit Union.

Pastrick said the budget released today is based on realistic growth assumptions for the Ontario economy in the short term. “But the forecast that program spending growth will stabilize and decline in five years may be optimistic,” he said. Ontario’s finances still reflect the aftermath of the 2008-09 recession.

The deficit for 2012-13 is now estimated at $9.8 billion, down $5 billion from the forecast in the 2012 budget. The projection for 2013-14 is $11.7 billion, $10.1 billion in 2014-15 and $7.2 billion in 2015-16.

Central 1 is among 13 private-sector groups whose forecasts are used by the province as part of its planning process.

Central 1 welcomed the fact that the province retained the extended small business tax deduction that provides about $5 million a year in benefits to credit unions.

The budget announced plans to stimulate greater use of Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs). It said ministries will promote the plans and encourage Ontario Disability Support Program recipients and others with disabilities to establish RDSPs. Central 1 Trust Company offers RDSPs to Ontario credit unions for their retail members.

About Central 1
Central 1 is the central financial facility and trade association for the B.C. and Ontario credit union systems. Central 1 represents a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that serves three million members and holds $86.2 billion in assets and is owned primarily by its member credit unions, 44 in B.C. and 99 in Ontario.

With offices in Vancouver, Mississauga, and Toronto, Central 1 provides a wide range of services such as liquidity management, direct banking, and flexible payment service solutions.

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