Ford achieves 0.02 per cent of his promised savings with council pay freeze
Toronto City Council voted to forego a scheduled pay increase this week, and the vote wasn’t particularly close: 39-3. Just about the only dispute was whether the money saved should go to school nutrition, or just be saved. (The vegetables-for-kids proposal is being looked at by the budget committee, where it seems likely to die.) When Rob Ford was running for mayor, he promised his 2011 budget would find $525.6 million in savings. This latest move saved council $110,000, or about 0.02% (that’s one five-thousandth) of the savings that Ford promised for 2011. At this rate, they would have to save that much money thirteen times a day for the full year in order to make Ford’s target. More fun with math: this move saves less than 0.2% of what the city lost when it went ahead with the mayor’s demand to cut the car tax.
Of course, Ford has found other savings—things like cuts to bus services and cutting councillor’s office budgets—but it’s an illustration of just how small-bore these solutions really are. Freezing councillor pay is a good move for publicity, especially when council is about to take the boots to public unions. In terms of actually solving the budget problems created by Ford’s tax cuts, however, this 0.02 per cent is basically not worth counting.