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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 8352
Reputation: 280.1
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taxes not up 'one cent'
Right! They've been raised 8% to the tune of billions of dollars overall


Last Updated: 27th March 2009, 4:03am

Here's your task this morning: Name That Tax.

Yesterday, the guys who got elected on a promise that they wouldn't add "one cent" to your taxes kept their promise. Instead, they raised the price of almost everything 8% by combining the federal goods and services tax (GST) with the provincial sales tax (PST). They won't raise taxes by one cent. They're raising them by billions of dollars.

Instead of having to juggle those two pesky taxes, ever-helpful Finance Minister Dwight Duncan will roll them into one. Instead of paying 5% GST for some things and 8% on PST for others, you'll pay 13% on everything.

This is not, repeat, not being done in the name of a tax grab. No, no, no. Would a Liberal hike your taxes? It's being done in the name of efficiency. Efficiency?

Like they may have missed something they can tax, so they're working on a scorched-earth policy with the feds to raid their tax base too?

This is the wrong time to be picking our pockets.

They'll slap you both ways. You'll pay tax on stuff that is subject to PST but not GST -- and vice versa.

And the PST goes up in some cases -- again, allegedly to achieve efficiencies.

The present PST rate on hotel rooms is 5%. It will rise to 8% under harmonization. Just what our battered tourism industry needs -- more expensive rooms.

'Social responsibility'

It doesn't go down on things like booze, though, that has a 10% or 12% PST. You will still pay that amount in the name of "social responsibility."

Just when you need a drink.

Sure, households with a combined income under $160,000 will get three rebate cheques totalling $1,000. One will arrive in the middle of the 2010 Christmas shopping season. Another will be in the mail in June 2011 -- conveniently just months before the next provincial election. But what about the years after that? You'll get nothing.

Necessities soar

The government is calculating that we are all such well-trained seals we will dutifully re-elect Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Duncan insisted yesterday his government is cutting personal taxes by $10.6 billion. Well, if you have a job your taxes will go down. Meanwhile, the cost of daily necessities for everyone -- seniors, students, the unemployed -- will soar.

You should only cut taxes if you also cut costs. If the Liberals don't get runaway public sector salaries under control, they're doomed to deficits forever.

The Liberals are bringing in the biggest deficit in the history of the province -- and somehow it's a good thing?

Duncan pledged to cut the civil service 5% through restraint and "other measures." We'll see.

He'll also freeze MPPs salaries -- after the Liberals hiked them 30% -- to $116,500. Where can I sign up for that kind of "restraint?"

You can't spend your way rich. You can spend your way stupid.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the Liberals are bribing taxpayers "with their own money."

Well, not quite. They're putting it on the debt, so it's not so much your money as your children and grandchildren's.

Girding for fight

The Tories got indignant about this being the wrong time to meld the taxes. Fact is, the major co-conspirator in harmonization is one of their own. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is a former provincial Mike Harris finance minister.

All the same, PC interim leader Bob Runciman said the Tories are girding for a fight.

"Within our caucus, there is a huge enthusiasm to fight this and fight it as hard as we can," Runciman said.

That should be interesting, given that Flaherty's wife, Christine Elliott, is rumoured to be one of the leaders in the leadership race to replace John Tory.

'Dwight Stiffs You Tax'

So, what to call this new tax? Duncan got touchy when one reporter quipped it should be the Sales Harmonization Tax.

We all know what that would be for short.

So, is it the DST -- Dwight Stiffs You Tax? The Dunkin' for your Dollars Tariff, or, simply, the Dwight Duncan Tax? (both would be DDT) How about the Dalton Rip-off?

When you pay those extra dollars every time you fill up your car or pay your heating bill, I suspect you'll know exactly what to call it.

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