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By Fred Hahn, Ottawa Citizen April 2, 2012

Re: An austerity budget with heart, March 29.

Former Liberal adviser Eugene Lang trumpets the Ontario budget as being “progressive.”

This is an exceptional exercise in spin for a budget that unfairly balances the books on the backs of the poor while leaving the wealthiest in the province untouched.

This government has not moved to help Ontario’s poorest, and taking inflation into account, social assistance rates are half what they were before the Mike Harris years. And yet the Liberals still chose to freeze social assistance and slow increases in child benefit rates. Keep in mind that the cost of food and housing is always rising. Inflation is at 2.6 per cent, so anything below that means people relying more heavily on food banks. It means more child poverty. There’s a total of $180-million in cuts that will hit the poor because of this budget. That is not progressive.

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