ON issues: gas tax, pension plan, high earner tax, day care workers/PCWs

| Filed under: Social Issues

Ontario Pension Plan favoured by half

Tax on high earners favoured by two thirds

TORONTO MAY 3rd, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1845 Ontario voters, close to one half approve of the government's plan to create an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP - 48%). One third disapprove of the idea (32%) and one fifth don't know (20%). Approval of this plan is highest among Gen Y (35 to 44 - 53%), the oldest (65+ - 53%), the wealthier ($80K to $100K - 54%), among Liberals (67%) and New Democrats (63%), but not among PC supporters (30%). One half agree that it's better for the federal government to raise CPP contributions and benefits (47%) rather than have provinces create supplementary plans (21%). One fifth say neither of these is necessary (20%).

Two thirds approve of tax on high earners

More than two thirds of voters approve of the government's plan to tax incomes over $150,000 at a higher rate (68%), and just one quarter disapprove (24%). Few do not have an opinion (8%). Approval is higher among New Democrats (85%) and Liberals (80%) than it is among PCs (49%). Even those in the targeted income bracket agree ($100K to $250K - 63%).

7-in-10 approve of raise for day care workers/PCWs

Just less than three quarters of voters approve the raise the government gave day care workers and Personal Care Workers (PCWs) in the budget (71%), especially among Liberals (86%) and New Democrats (85%) but not so much by PCs (55%).

Gas tax initiatives, selling GM shares popular ways to pay for transit

Directing one half of the gas tax collected in Ontario to transit and transportation is popular with more than half (55%), while just a quarter disapprove (24%). This idea is more popular with Liberals (64%) than among PCs (55%) or New Democrats (60%).

Redirecting all of the HST charged on gas to the same ends is also popular (51% approve, 24% disapprove), especially among Liberals (59%), but also among PCs (53%) and New Democrats (53%).

Selling Ontario's GM shares to pay for transit is popular (53% approve, 29% disapprove), among PCs especially (62%) but not so much among New Democrats (50%).

Raising corporate taxes in Ontario engenders a split in opinion (45% approve, 43% disapprove) and disapproval is highest among PCs (67%), but not among Liberals (32%) and New Democrats (32%).

Selling provincially-owned land and buildings is even less popular (25% approve, 57% disapprove), even among PCs (27% approve).

The least popular idea, espoused by the PCs, is eliminating Ontario's Greenbelt legislation and opening up more farmland to development (15% approve, 77% disapprove). Approval is highest among the least wealthy (24%), among PCs (24%) in southwestern Ontario (20%) and those who approve of Tim Hudak (31%).

Overall more think budget bad for economy than think it good

The plurality of voters think the recent Ontario budget will be bad for the economy (39%), compared to half this proportion who think it will be good (21%). One fifth either think it will have no economic effect (21%) or don't have an opinion (19%). PCs are especially likely to think the budget will harm the economy (67%), New Democrats somewhat less so (34%). However, the budget musters support from just one half of Liberal voters (52%).

Premier Wynne's signature provincial pension plan wins more praise than scorn and her plan for taxing high earners is well-liked too. Ontarians don't seem as eager to engage in a sell-off though, neither real estate nor our GM shares. However, the reserve their deepest disfavour for Tim Hudak's idea of freeing up more farmland for development," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.