All the bragging about gas tax relief in Ontario’s 2024 budget should make us laugh, if it weren’t so sad. By the government’s own numbers (p. 71), that tax cut saves about $10 per month for the typical household.

There are real affordability problems in Ontario, including the budget’s forecast that average home prices will rise again. With property values increasing, there’s little hope that rents will drop. So $10 per month in gas tax relief is just a noisy distraction. 

The real fiscal signal in the 2024 budget is that the Ford government has a serious revenue problem, despite investing little to reduce unaffordability pressures. Provincial plans to restore a balanced budget by means of spending restraint and revenue from future economic growth is on shaky ground. Younger voters inherit more debt, but little help with major costs of living like postsecondary and housing. Here’s Generation Squeeze's take on why that is a bad generational deal.

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