If the City of Toronto 2013 recommended operating budget is approved it will result in continued erosion of city services. The recommended total spending increase is less than inflation and population growth. This would mean further cuts in real, per capita services.
There are proposed reductions in “Citizen Services A” of 3.1 percent. These include soft services such as shelter, support and housing and children’s services. While spending is held steady on “Citizen Services B” those that are considered hard services, like transportation services and municipal licensing and standards.
Even within “Citizen Services A,” the distribution of cuts was not even handed.
- Shelter, support and housing was hit hardest. Overall, a massive 16.1% cut – down to $665 million (a cut of $128 million from last year’s approved budget). In the service categories, hostel services (homeless shelters) and housing and homelessness supports are pretty much flat-lined from last year. The biggest proposed cut is in social housing – which is down by about $100 million (or about 20% cut from last year). This is funding to support most existing social housing in the city – except for those co-ops that remain funded under federal programs.
- Children’s’ services, Social development finance and administration, and long term care homes and services also have proposed reductions.
- Other areas including Parks, Forestry and Recreation have proposed increases in spending.
See details in table below.
Councillors have choices in how they respond to the budget. They can allow city services to continue to erode, or they can modestly increase taxes to enhance the health of our city and Torontonians.
Follow the Wellesley Institute as we continue to provide more analysis in the days and weeks to come.