As council meets for the last time to discuss the 2018 city budget, new Social Planning Toronto research shows millions in underfunding of council-approved strategies and service plans.
From the press release:
“As Toronto City Council prepares to make its final decision on its 2018 budget, a new report by Social Planning Toronto reveals it will fall short by $36 million on funding council’s own pledges on housing, climate change, transit, and poverty reduction.
The report, entitled “Promises, promises”, reveals many commitments made by city council this term, that were simply left out of the city’s preliminary budget estimates. Sourcing numerous budget and council documents, the report also cites information acquired through a freedom of information request and reveals city program deliverables that were not put forward for the budget.
“Despite claims that the budget balances investments with cuts, in fact the budget falls short $36 million in program commitments that didn’t even make it to the start of the budget process”, said Sean Meagher, Executive Director of Social Planning Toronto. “Residents deserve to know what happened to council’s promises on housing, transit, and child care”.
Social Planning Toronto’s analysis indicates that to meet the commitments council has made, this budget would require:
- an increased investment of $36 million in the 2018 city operating budget;
- an additional $35 million to double council’s commitment to new affordable rental housing development;
- a revision of the city’s budget process to ensure transparency and accountability on critical issues affecting Toronto.