Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

Conservatives underspending on social assistance while most vulnerable struggle: NDP

Published on December 19, 2023

WATERLOO — Official Opposition NDP Finance critic Catherine Fife issued the following response to the Financial Accountability Office (FAO)’s report on the Ford government’s spending in 2023-4: 

“People are struggling to get by during a cost-of-living crisis, yet the Ford Conservatives continue to shortchange Ontarians, underspending by billions of dollars.  

The government’s overall spending is $2 billion less than planned, including less-than-planned spending in vital areas like social services, education and public health. 

It’s shameful to see the Conservatives underspend by $183 million on social assistance at a time when Ontario’s woefully inadequate rates of ODSP and OW, compounded by the affordability crisis, are making life unbearable for some of the most vulnerable people in our province.  

The NDP continues to urge the Ford government to double ODSP and OW rates immediately.” 

  • The government’s contingency fund has increased to $5.4 billion. The FAO reported the balance was $2.9 billion in September 2023, with a $2.5-billion top up in October 2023.  

The report also shows: 

  • Continued disinvestment in population and public health  
  • Less-than-planned spending on infrastructure projects including transit-oriented communities and broadband infrastructure 
  • Less-than-planned spending on energy subsidies to lower energy costs for Ontarians, including the Ontario Electricity Rebate 
  • Less-than-planned spending on post-secondary education  
  • Less-than-planned spending on capital funding for housing programs