Budget Butchery

Rating: NNNNNFiscal maestro David Shiner is pushing a budget that's bound to unravel our services. But there are options.


Rating: NNNNN


Fiscal maestro David Shiner is pushing a budget that’s bound to unravel our services. But there are options — a 6.6 per cent tax increase, for example. Call your councillor and let him or her know where you stand before final decisions are made next week.

ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

$13 million from TTC budget (plus an additional $1.97 million from Wheel-Trans)

$2.16 million from public health

$2.1 million from playground upgrades

$1.81 million from children’s services

$1.6 million from swimming pools

$1.1 million from hostel services

$1 million from youth anti-violence programs

$900,000 from library services

$722,000 from eco projects

$637,000 from grants programs not adjusted for inflation

$500,000 from pedestrian pilot project

$300,000 from traffic calming plan

$250,000 from bike plan

$100,000 from audible traffic signals for the visually impaired

WHAT WAS RAIDED

$7.5 million from social housing reserve fund

$5 million from welfare reserve fund

WHAT WAS INCREASED

Police budget, by $5.4 ($3 million for computer consulting and leasing) to a total of $588.8 million

WHAT THE CUTS WILL MEAN

$100-plus Metropass and/or 15 per cent increase in TTC fares

135,000 fewer Wheel-Trans rides for seniors and the disabled

Cuts to parenting and prenatal programs, TB prevention programs, seniors’ dental care and health clinics

Parents pay extra $325 a year for after-school childcare programs

Higher garbage pickup fee for businesses

Closure of half the city’s 80-plus indoor pools

Loss of at least 27 shelter staff

No nutrition programs at 11 special-needs elementary schools

Sunday library closures and longer waits for library material

Elimination of environment days

Plans for bike lanes cut by half

$12 increase in parking permit fee to $114

THE SOLUTION

Raise taxes by an additional 2 per cent above the 4.6 per cent that’s being proposed

WHAT CRITICS SAY

The city has underestimated supplementary tax revenue by $15 million, money that could be used to cover all that’s being cut from the budget.

WHAT’S UNACCOUNTED FOR

Inside and outside workers, police and firefighters all have contract negotiations coming up.

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *