Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Haldimand "Congrats to McGuinty he finally Tells the Truth"

Well it seems that Premier Dalton McGuinty finally stuck to one of his promises!

The Heath Tax is here to stay!

One of the interesting comments was the fact that the money collected under the Health Tax doesn't necessarily go to the Health Care System. I don't know about you but maybe it is high time that the Provincial Government bring down legislation that protects how and where "our" hard earned dollars are collected and directed!

After all the Provincial Government were the ones that legislated to the Municipalities how and where the dollars they collect from our property taxes go, this is called "reserves".

It is high time that the Provincial Government do as they tell others to do and be "Accountable". But that is another promise that McGuinty has forgotten about!

Review of Ontario health tax a ‘sham'

The Canadian Press
August 5, 2008 at 5:23 PM EDT

TORONTO — A forced review of Ontario's controversial health tax is little more than a "sham" because the province has no intention of scrapping it, critics charged Tuesday as public hearings abruptly ended after only a few short hours of testimony.

Premier Dalton McGuinty has already made it clear he won't kill or phase out the tax, which critics say is overburdening municipalities and taxpayers. That means recommendations from the legislative committee that's reviewing it will be ignored, opposition parties said.

"The problem is that Dalton McGuinty already has his hands over his ears," said Progressive Conservative Tim Hudak, who dismissed the entire exercise as a "sham" once the hearings were over.

"He has no intention of giving working families in Ontario or seniors a break."

Mr. McGuinty came under heavy fire from his political rivals early in his first term in 2004 when he brought in the so-called health "premium," defending it as a necessary evil aimed at tackling a $5.6-billion deficit inherited by the previous Conservative government.

The Premier has only added insult to injury by effectively ending the committee's work before it began, dashing any faint hope that the tax might be scrapped, Mr. Hudak said.

The Liberals must find a way to finance public services without punishing lower and average income families with a regressive tax, which can cost each eligible taxpayer as much as $900 a year, said NDP critic Peter Tabuns.

"If the government was interested in changing things, they could change things," he said.

"They're very clear: they've made a decision. They're going to continue with that decision and they're going through the motions with these hearings."

Mr. McGuinty admitted in December that the tax review was only going ahead because it was required by law. He's repeatedly dismissed calls to repeal the health premium, arguing that the billions in revenue would buttress Ontario's health-care system against the stresses of an aging population.

But the health tax is also hurting municipalities and workers who are already facing tough economic times, the committee heard.

London, Ont., Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best said the city is paying more than $800,000 a year to cover the health tax for some of its employees — a rising cost that's being absorbed by taxpayers who are already shelling out for their own health premiums.

"Whatever the details, there have been clearly unintended consequences to local property taxpayers," she told the committee.

"We are asking you this morning that you recommend a legislated remedy — that the province adopt legislation to clearly state that the Ontario Health Premium is an employee responsibility and not the responsibility of employers."

The government should give the tax another name, since it's under no obligation to spend any of the money on health care, said Kevin Gaudet, Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

"There is no doubt that this tax would have been eliminated had it been named differently — perhaps the Bureaucrat Salary Enhancement Tax," Mr. Gaudet said.

Others, such as Mary Lou Ambrogio of the Forest City Institute, a think tank based in London, Ont., expressed frustration that any recommendations the committee makes will fall on deaf ears.

"Dalton McGuinty has already explicitly stated that regardless of the outcome of this review, the tax will not be eliminated," Ms. Ambrogio said.

"Unfortunately, this may be one promise he intends to keep."


No comments:

Post a Comment