Media Release: FAO releases Long-Term Budget Outlook: 2020-2050

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:          

[La version française suit le texte anglais.]

FAO RELEASES LONG-TERM BUDGET OUTLOOK: 2020-2050
Ontario’s fiscal outlook depends on the success of current reforms to public services

TORONTO, March 11, 2020 - The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) has released its Long-term Budget Outlook. The report provides a forecast of Ontario’s economy and fiscal position through 2050, based on current fiscal policies.

Over the next 30 years, Ontario’s population will become older and grow somewhat slower than in the past. Slower economic growth over the outlook will contribute to a slower pace of revenue gains for the Province while a growing but older population will put upward pressure on public spending. 

In the medium term, the Ontario government’s commitment to balancing the budget by 2023-24 relies on limiting the growth in spending through efficiency gains and transforming the way public services are delivered.  The success of the government’s current reforms to its core programs – health, education and social services – will have a significant impact on Ontario’s long-term fiscal position.

“If the government successfully transforms public services and achieves lasting cost savings, Ontario’s fiscal position would steadily improve, with the debt burden lower in 2050 than it is today,” said Peter Weltman, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer. “However, if the government relies on temporary cost reductions to balance the budget, the province’s future finances will be challenging, likely prompting the need for significant future policy changes.”

To learn more, read the full report here.

QUICK FACTS

  • The number of seniors is expected to almost double from 2.5 million in 2019 to 4.8 million by 2050, increasing the share of Ontario’s seniors from 17 per cent of the population in 2019 to 23 per cent by 2050.
  • An aging population will contribute to slower growth in the labour force and overall economy.  Ontario’s real GDP growth is projected to average 1.9 per cent annually over the outlook, down from 2.5 per cent over history.
  • If the government’s current program reforms lead to permanent cost savings, Ontario’s fiscal position would be expected to improve, with the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio reaching 35.0 per cent by 2050, below today’s ratio of almost 40 per cent.
  • However, if the government relies on temporary spending restraint to balance the budget, Ontario’s debt-to-GDP ratio would rise sharply over the long-term reaching almost 66 per cent by 2050, likely prompting the need for significant future policy changes.

About the FAO

Established by the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) provides independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Visit http://www.fao-on.org/en/ and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InfoFAO.

-30-

For further information, please contact:
Jessica Martin | 647 527 2385 | JMartin@fao-on.org | fao-on.org