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RSS Feeds25 per cent hydro rebate could cost an additional $4B over next 30 years
(The Star Food)


17 october 2017 18:24:42

25 per cent hydro rebate could cost an additional $4B over next 30 years
(The Star Food)

Ontario’s financial watchdog is sounding the alarm over the Liberal government’s 25-per-cent cut in residential electricity rates.Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk estimates the scheme, unveiled last May, could cost Ontarians an additional $4 billion in interest charges over the next 30 years.In Lysyk’s latest salvo against the provincial government over a continuing accounting dispute, she expressed concern about how the hydro rebate will appear on the books.“The accounting proposed by the government is wrong, and, if used, would make the province’s budgets and future consolidated financial statements unreliable,” the auditor general said Tuesday.“This cannot be taken lightly.”Her comments came as she tabled a 53-page special report on the Liberals’ “Fair Hydro Plan.”Lysyk’s concern about the plan echoes that of province’s financial accountability officer who predicted in May that it will cost the province $45 billion over the next 29 years while saving ratepayers $24 billion for a $21-billion net expense.Facing a massive outcry over soaring hydro rates in many parts of the province, Premier Kathleen Wynne moved forward with the generous rebates.As of Jan. 1, Wynne removed the 8-per-cent provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax from electricity bills.That was followed up by an additional 17-per-cent cut that took effect over the summer.The government has justified borrowing money to pay ratepayers by likening it to refinancing a mortgage to enjoy lower payments over a longer time on nuclear reactors, natural gas-fired power plants, and wind turbines.Lysyk estimated that could mean an extra $4 billion in interest charges over the next 30 years. The charges are extra, because the province will not borrow all the money directly, doing so, instead, through a complex financial structure that includes Ontario Power Generation, among other Crown agencies.“Internal records show that se ...
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