Canada Day will have more than its share of red for taxpayers in Ontario this year. On July 1 Ontarians will be hit with the biggest tax increase in Ontario's history. The Harmonized Sales Tax means an eight per cent price increase on a lot of everyday items: gas for your vehicle, electricity, haircuts and home heating will all increase by a whopping eight per cent.
On a single item, eight per cent may not seem like all that much, but think about the average wage increase in Ontario. Those people still fortunate to have full time jobs with an increase this year did not see anything like eight per cent.
Liberal Perth-Wellington MPP John Wilkinson is selling this new tax grab as a way to create jobs. The fact is businesses are already creating new jobs without the HST and the economy is improving, and apart from a few more bureaucrats, no tax has ever created jobs. Governments do not create jobs, not real ones anyway.
The Liberals, who are firmly in cahoots with the federal Conservatives, have also taken to bribing taxpayers with their own money with the HST rebate. They are giving up to $1,000 on one hand and then taking it back through the HST. Of course, long after the rebate has been spent, the HST continues. The only thing the HST rebate has done is increase the costs of implementing this program.
It's a bit like collecting blood to give blood, but carelessly spilling some of it in the process.
How are they spending the extra money? All day Kindergarten for starters which some estimate will cost $1.8 billion annually. To add insult to injury, Ontario taxpayers had to pay an estimated $25 million in severance packages to Ontario tax collectors only to rehire them as federal tax collectors.
To make sure this mess is not easy, or cheap, to fix, McGuinty's Liberals and Harper's Conservatives finagled a deal which states that if the HST is repealed before 2015 Ontario taxpayers are on the hook to pay back the federal government the $4.3 billion it paid out in bribes to implement this harmony.
When McGuinty was first elected after promising, "I won't raise your taxes, but I won't lower them either," he raised taxes to improve health care. Almost eight years later many Ontarians don't have a family doctor and wait times for some tests and specialists have only marginally improved.
It begs the question: What will the Liberal government do with the HST windfall?Voters in Perth-Wellington will have a great opportunity to clearly comment on the HST in the next provincial and federal elections.
It is no wonder many voters throw their arms up in despair when it comes to elections. It should not be too much to ask that candidates deliver on their promises when and if elected.