TORONTO — Ontario’s New Democrats plan to raise the corporate tax rate and offer financial help to hydro users, family caregivers and students if they win the June 12 election.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released her party’s campaign platform today, which details a plan to raise the corporate tax rate from 11.5 to 12.5 per cent.
There would be targeted tax cuts for companies that create jobs, up to $5,000 per employee, but with “strings attached” to make sure the strategy achieves its goals.
Horwath says the NDP would implement a $1,275 family caregiver tax credit to help seniors live at home as long as possible, which would cost $230 million a year.
An NDP government would also freeze college and university tuitions, make student loans interest-free and forgive up to $20,000 a year of student debt for doctors who agree to work in under-serviced areas.
Horwath says the NDP would take the provincial portion of the HST off hydro bills and repeal the debt retirement charge, saving the average household about $200 a year.
The NDP are also offering a guarantee that patients discharged from hospital who need home care would get it within five days, and plan to cut emergency room wait times in half by using more nurse practitioners.
And the New Democrats insist they can force the provincial regulator to order a 15 per cent cut in auto insurance premiums, which the Liberals promised but the NDP say failed to deliver.
Horwath says the NDP would eliminate Ontario’s $12.5 billion deficit by 2017-18, the same year as the Liberals but one year after the Tories say they could balance the books.
The New Democrats say they would also halt the scheduled phase out of the HST Input Tax credit restrictions, which would allow companies to deduct expenses such as luxury box seats at sporting events.