Duncan Says Ontario 2012-13 Budget Deficit Narrows

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said the province’s deficit in the fiscal year that began in April will be C$11.9 billion ($12 billion), not including a C$500 million reserve, narrowing from the C$14.8 billion he previously forecast.

The improvement in Ontario’s fiscal outlook comes from higher corporate taxes after the province reassessed returns from 2011 and earlier, and savings of more than C$1 billion stemming from ending the practice of letting the province’s teachers save up sick days, Duncan said.

Duncan made the comments in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto. While the speech did give deficit estimates for later years, Duncan said Canada’s most-populous province needs C$2.5 billion in spending cuts over the coming years to meet its budget goals, without elaborating.

“What we’ve done so far is the low-hanging fruit” of deficit reduction, Duncan said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Altstedter in Toronto at aaltstedter@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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