QUEEN’S PARK — MPPs for London Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe), Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) and Peggy Sattler (London West), say by forcing London's property taxes up, the government is hurting families.
The impact on London of the government's first budget, which slashed funding from essential services like Public Health and child care, has left the city struggling to fill in the gaps. On Monday, London’s city council voted for a 2.7-per cent average annual tax hike over four years — an increase city staff say still won’t cover the hole caused by government cuts.
“Too many Londoners are already struggling to lead affordable lives, to ensure their families have access to quality health care, education, housing, and social services like disability and mental health supports,” Armstrong said. “Because of the government's deep cuts, Londoners will now see less support for services like public health, and higher municipal tax bills.”
“This is a lose-lose situation for Londoners. Thanks to the government, they either pay more for child care, losing critical Public Health services, or have to raise their property taxes to cover off government cuts,” Kernaghan said. “And it may only get worse. The trickle-down effect of the government's cruel service cuts mean the city will likely have fewer resources to provide Londoners with critical services like public health inspections.”
Tuesday during question period, Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath asked the Premier how he can justify putting a $4-million hole in the city of London’s budget.
Last week, London mayor Ed Holder was among 28 big city-mayors in Ontario who signed a letter condemning the government for downloading costs onto municipalities.
“London residents deserve so much better than a provincial government that slashes essential services, forcing municipalities to pick up the pieces to try to keep families safe and services intact,” said Sattler. "They deserve a government that partners with mayors, cities and towns, instead of one that goes to war against them."