November 2, 2023 - Toronto, Ontario- Mortgage Professionals Canada
Today, Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy released the 2023 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Building a Strong Ontario Together.
The statement outlined that the financial outlook for Ontario will be impacted by heightened economic and geopolitical uncertainties, interest rate increases, and the slowing global economy. Minister Bethlenfalvy forecasted that Ontario’s real GDP is expected to grow by 1.1 per cent in 2023, slowing to 0.5 per cent in 2024, and beginning to rebound in 2025 and 2026. The deficit for 2023-24 is projected to be $5.6 billion, and $5.3 billion in 2024-25, with a balanced budget by 2025-26. Despite this, employment in Ontario increased by more than 170,000 positions this year, mostly full-time and in the private-sector.
The provincial government continues to prioritize investment in critical infrastructure with the announcement of the Ontario Infrastructure Bank, modelled after the federal agency. The new bank will be an arms-length, board-governed agency, and will enable institutional investors, including public-sector pension plans to participate in large-scale infrastructure projects across the province, including affordable housing. Ontario is moving forward with the removal of the 8 per cent provincial portion of the HST on qualifying new purpose-built rental housing, including apartments and long-term seniors’ residences.
Other measures in this update include investing $100 million to the Invest Ontario Fund, to attract leading companies to the province. Ontario will also extend the current gas and fuel tax cuts through to June 30, 2034.
We are encouraged by the measures included in the Fall Economic Statement. The government mentioned it will also be making significant investments in highway development and investing in transit-oriented communities by building more homes around transit, all measures that we strongly support.
We continue to advocate for tax incentives such as an increase to the provincial land transfer tax rebate and an update to the provincial HST rebate available on new housing, a recommendation from the Housing Affordability Task force. We remain committed to continued partnership with the Ontario government, to increase supply, help ease cost of living pressures, and enable greater housing affordability to keep the dream of homeownership alive for Ontarians.
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