Sunday, November 29, 2009

Haldimand "Raise Your Voice, Stop the HST"

It seems that we are not being told all of the fine details when it comes to the "HST".

Two good reads, one from Toby Barrett and one from the National Post.

Raise your voice to stop the HST

"Public hearings; those two words go together nicely if you believe in true democracy.”
- Dalton McGuinty, December 6, 1999

As Haldimand and Norfolk residents continue to send in petitions to stop the 13 per cent McGuinty sales tax, government's cavalier approach to force through his costly tax grab has turned up the volume at Queens Park.

Two weeks ago, government members initiated a scheme to silence opposition to their $3 billion dollar HST tax using parliamentary tricks to limit debate and deny any form of real public consultation.

As I’ve reported previously the HST would mean a 13 per cent tax on many everyday essentials not currently subject to PST – items ranging from gasoline, to electricity; haircuts to internet service. Even funerals would be hit. For a middle-income family of four, the HST would mean up to $2,500 a year in additional taxes.

It’s clear your phone-calls, letters, and signatures on petitions, as well as other forms of protest, all are having an impact.

Recently, Mr. McGuinty bowed to pressure scrapping the proposed HST on coffee, newspapers and meals under four dollars. But, we must continue to push for further climb downs.

To that end, we in Opposition continue to use every tool at our disposal to register the concerns of millions across the province.

Government attempts to short-circuit parliamentary debate forced PC members to stage a much publicized walk-out from the Legislature. The empty seats of caucus members served as a reminder to a government of the disdain for the tax.

With government bent on pushing their agenda through come hell or high water, we in Opposition are left to do everything possible to slow this train down before it pulls out of the station

Especially worrisome has been the admission from Finance Minister Dwight Duncan that the McGuinty Government’s HST deal contains a $4.3 billion poison pill designed to handcuff future governments from ever repealing tax grab.

Clearly, instead of putting cotton in their ears, this government should be listening to what people have to say through full public hearings. This is a tax on just about everything, paid by just about everyone!

If Mr. McGuinty actually believes that this tax grab is in the best interest of Ontario families – he would have the courage to hold open public consultations across the province. Instead we learned on Friday that the government plans to hold only one day of consultation on Thursday, in Toronto – and nowhere else!

With all this in mind, and time to voice dissent running out, anyone waiting on the sidelines should make their voices heard now. Contact my office to get your name on a petition or learn of other ways you can make your voice heard.

Time is of the essence as many HST related concerns and issues are leaking out daily. Adding to already well-founded consumer apprehension are hidden details about this tax the current government seems content to obscure.

For instance, many don’t realize that under the HST, Ontario surrenders its constitutionally-granted taxation powers to the whims of future federal governments. Once the HST is enacted, fundamental decisions about what is, and is not, subject to sales taxes will be made in Ottawa, not in the Ontario Legislature.

Meantime, at time of writing, news broke of the Federal government calling for a vote in Ottawa for or against the allowance of provinces to proceed with a harmonized sales tax. We’ll see.

One public HST hearing…in Toronto…a joke - Barrett

Queen’s Park – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett calls what the McGuinty government is proposing as public hearings for the Harmonized Sales Tax – one day, in Toronto – a complete joke.

“Here we have a government that is implementing a 13 per cent tax on just about everything, to hit just about everyone, turning around and offering one single day of consultation…in only Toronto…to serve as their acknowledgement of public input,” Barrett commented. “Legislation this costly, this taxing and creating so much opposition deserves to receive input from right across the province.”

The one day of hearings follows two weeks of government maneuvering to limit debate in the Legislature as well as Opposition calls for full public hearings on the issue.

The HST would mean a 13 per cent tax on many everyday essentials not currently subject to PST – items ranging from gasoline, to electricity; haircuts to internet service. Even funerals would be hit. For a middle-income family of four, the HST would mean up to $2,500 a year in additional taxes.

“While one day of hearings in Toronto can hardly qualify as public consultation, I do encourage anyone interested to contact the Committee Clerk to get their names on the docket and make their voice heard ” continued Barrett. “Perhaps if government sees the overflow of presentation requests they will think twice about turning their backs on the people of Ontario.”

Meanwhile Barrett noted that with time to voice dissent running out, anyone waiting on the sidelines to contact his office to get names on a petition or learn of other ways to stand against the 13 per cent tax grab.

-30-

For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at: (416) 325-8404,

(519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629

An interesting article that a friend sent me! A Must Read!

Following is an interesting article from National Post about six details of the Impending Harmonized Sales Tax that you may not know about.

Lisa MacLeod and Cyndee Todgham Cherniak: Six things you should know about the HST
Posted: November 19, 2009, 9:30 AM by NP Editor

On July 1, 2010, the Ontario Government plans to introduce a new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), which would combine Canada’s Goods and Services Tax and Ontario’s Provincial Sales Tax into a unified sales tax. The HST will directly increase the tax burden on middle-class Ontario families. Indirect impacts will drive up the cost of living further still.

What is most concerning are the hidden details about this tax that the current government seems content to obscure. Below, we have summarized the six things that Ontario taxpayers need to know about the HST before it is imposed by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government.

1. Under the HST, Ontario surrenders its constitutionally-granted taxation powers to the whims of future federal governments.

Right now, Ontario enjoys direct taxation powers granted under the Canadian constitution. However, under the HST plan, Ontario will give up its sales-tax powers to Ottawa through the federal Excise Tax Act. Once the HST is enacted, fundamental decisions about what is, and is not, subject to sales taxes will not be made in the Ontario legislature but will instead be made in Ottawa. It is not hard to foresee the day when a federal Minister of Finance could decide the fate of Ontario businesses when there is a tax dispute. It is also possible that the federal Excise Tax Act will be amended, regulations will be passed or administrative practice will change without Ontario’s input or approval, in which case Ontarians will become victims of taxation without representation.

2. Under the HST, it is likely that tax-included pricing, or hidden taxation, will come to Ontario.

Many of us prefer to know just how much of our money is actually being directed to government. Yet the moment Ontario joins the HST, an obscure piece of federal legislation kicks in that will allow sellers to conceal just how much tax you are paying on the products you buy. The taxpayers of tomorrow will be denied straightforward information that is taken for granted by taxpayers today.

3. There is no evidence that harmonized taxes work in other federal jurisdictions.

The McGuinty government promotes the notion that 130 other countries have adopted a “value-added tax” such as the HST. This is misleading. The HST represents more than just a single value-added tax — it represents a blending of sales taxes between two levels of government. No other developed country has successfully imposed a joint value-added tax at both the federal and state/provincial levels of government. (In any case, Canada’s federation is dissimilar from that of many OECD countries.) Ontario needs a made-in-Ontario tax regime that reflects the realities of the Ontario economy.

4. There will be hidden costs for Ontario businesses to comply with the HST.

Any business that has been audited will understand that the administrative burden associated with tax-law compliance is substantial. Any change to tax laws forces businesses to spend money to both understand the new regime and live up to their obligations under it.

5. Businesses might not reduce their base prices after implementation of the HST.

Unless the McGuinty Government also plans to restrict prices that businesses may charge, there is no legal obligation for any business to lower its prices on July 1, 2010. In fact, the HST regime includes unrecoverable HST costs that will be passed on consumers. For example, many businesses engaged in exempt activities (e.g., financial institutions, rental housing, nursing homes, etc.) will pay HST on what they themselves buy. Also, businesses with sales over $10-million will not be able to get 100% input tax credit on some of the HST it pays for at least six years. Over that time, the only other cost-recovery method available to them will be higher prices.

6. Once the HST is implemented, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to undo. According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the McGuinty Government, Ontario cannot opt out of the HST regime for five years without risk of massive penalties. No matter how disastrous the HST might be, Ontarians will be locked in to this dubious plan for a long haul.

National Post

2 comments:

  1. I'm really tired of being taxed to death,when so much of our tax dollars are being spent wastefully on surveys , prisoners,and raises for people already making over a million dollars a year.
    My biggest pet peeve is our seniors who are only being given the bare minmum to live on ,while the prisoners are being given soooo much more.
    More money to live on and better healthcare .
    Our seniors are better of to break the law , at least they would be better cared for. How sad...
    They worked all there lives supported their families and they have to do without things,because they are being taxed to death by our government.
    Not to mention the house taxes, if they still have their home,and hydro,gas and water bills keep increasing.
    I really don't know how they survive.
    But I know that I am really tired of all the increases that have occured in the last 2-3 years.
    As Canadians we need to stop this HST

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