Pain in the tax

Amherst Daily News
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There is no doubt the NDP will take some heat over the increase to the provincial take of the HST. That detail commands most of the attention in Tuesday’s budget release.

The question remains whether most people take a close look at how much it might affect them. They might also ponder alternatives – considering the budget’s focus is widespread and includes cuts in such areas as a gradual reduction to the civil service. There will also be wage restraints and a cap on pension earnings – bound to bring grumbling from that sector.

No one likes paying taxes, and nearly everyone bristles when they are increased. The NDP will be reminded of this particular hike many times during their tenure.

However, they did also include suggestions from finance meetings across the province to provide a cushion for lower income families. Thus, similar to the GST rebates, a household bringing in less than $30,000, for example, will get about $240 back.

They’ve also removed the provincial tax on items such as children’s shoes and clothing.

Looking at the arithmetic, purchasing a $100 item will cost an extra $2. A $20,000 car would mean $400 more spread over the payments. Some will find that a significant increase.

Did consumers notice a great difference in the reduction – twice, one per cent at a time – in the federal GST in the past several years? Putting the change in reverse, they’ll pay a lot more attention.

Certainly business owners have reason to be nervous. If this does, as some suggest, significantly slow down sales or cost jobs at a time when the economy is slowly warming up this remedy could be seen to have backfired.

There will be anger, no doubt. Will it last? Certainly for some.

But the debt can’t be allowed to continue growing. Servicing it is already a huge drag on provincial finances.

We’ll see how good a money managers the NDP are if their forecasts are accurate and they wrestle an unwieldy deficit under control by 2013-14. Some will feel only the tax pain, but the fiscally conscious will be interested to see whether this management works.

Organizations: NDP

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  • Panic Button
    April 07, 2010 - 18:54

    Jon---You appear to not be even reading the press let alone the budget . They made plenty moves to help lower income folks . They have laid out large cuts to government . Mr Steele is a brilliant and honest man . There can only be one finance minister at a time . We have a real common sense ,cleaver fellow as compared to the incompetant BSers from previous times . If the NDP brought a government down in 99 and 09 . What more could you expect . Put the blame for the debt the province is saddled with on the ones that created the mess the TORY's . The NDP are saddled with cleaning up the mess . The Tory's are sort of redundant now anyway in view of the currant Federal parties . It will disapear . There were good times for it in the past but their financial screwed up legacy they left makes them unfit to ever have power in the Province again .

  • Jon
    April 07, 2010 - 12:00

    So here's a question , if the Tories were doing so much damage why didn;t the NDP step in when they were the offical opp. and the Tories only had a minority for years on years after Hamm was gone? The answer is they are no different! All gov't's are the sameIt doesn;t matter which side you are on, maybe just maybe they (gov't) should have got theie own house in order before bring in this increase. I could have handled that. I have a small business that will suffer because of this. It will hurt my numbers there is no doublt. Will I surivie probably, Will it make life harder then it already is moneywise? Yes. I have made the decesion to stick with it for NOW but should another increase come in the form of HST then I will pack up and move West. I have lived in Cumberland County for over 30yrs and I love it here but not at the expense of my families happiness and well being. The debt needs to be reduced and this would have been the time to make cuts to the gov't fat. That is where gov't can prove itself. Those are the hard decesions that needed to be made. Rasing the HST was a COWARDS WAY OUT!

  • Panic Button
    April 07, 2010 - 09:18

    Mr Murry Scott has advocated reducing the sales tax province wide . Given that the Tories are responsable for creating the obscene provincial debt i wonder how he justifies more of the same . How can he advocate reducing the tax when it clearly needs raised as explained above . No explanation just more stupidy from the same old places trying to undercut someone stuck with cleaning up their mess . The Tories should just let that dumb old party , that filled rich mens pockets, lapse . Disband it ,forget it and merge with the Liberals .