Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fact #19: Rob Ford Math: $371M Fire Budget (2010) – $8M "Savings" = $423M Fire Budget (2014)



It's true. Rob Ford claims to have saved $7.9 million from Toronto Fire Services over the last four years. This is part of the $753 million of cost savings that make up the majority of his $1 billion claim.

Over the same time period, the annual budget for Fire Services has actually grown from $371 million to $423 million.

Why should I care?

The imaginary savings that Rob Ford keeps talking about are not real. Your taxes have gone up over the last four years, not down. There are a few reasons why Ford Math isn't real math:

  • Rob's claims are spread over four years. His $7.9 million in Fire Services "savings" is less than $2 million per year, or about 0.5% of the department's total operating costs
  • The "savings" aren't budget cuts - they are denials of budget increases and double-counting of lost revenue. Regardless of what Ford claims, the actual cost of running Toronto keeps going up
  • If you planned to go on a $5,000 vacation to Barbados but changed your mind before buying the tickets, you wouldn't say that you just saved $5 grand. But Rob Ford does
  • If you cancelled your $10,000 Leafs seasons tickets and bought $10,000 Raptors seasons tickets you wouldn't say that you saved $10 grand. But Rob Ford does
  • If work cancelled your $6,000 bonus you wouldn't say that your family just saved $6 grand. But Rob Ford does
  • If you sign a seven-year cell phone contract that saves $1,100 per year you don't say that you'll be saving $7,700 over the next four years. But Rob Ford does

If Rob Ford actually did save $8 million from Fire Services over four years, then the annual cost of operations should have gone down by $2 million, from $371 million to $369 million. However, costs have actually increased by 3.3% per year to $423 million, which is twice the rate of inflation.

So when it comes time to open this year's tax bill, be sure to call the City to tell them that the increased number is a mistake. Rob Ford says he saved a billion dollars, and you want your cut.

How do I know you're not lying?


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