Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stephen Harper's New Taxes Could Hinder Economic Recovery

In August of 2009, CBC ran a story: Flaherty's HST pitch fails to woo holdouts.

He had bribed Ontario with 4.3 billion dollars and B.C. with 1.3 billion, if they would harmonize their taxes. Since this would help businesses by passing the tax burden from them to consumers, people began dubbing the HST: the Harper Sales Tax.
A day after Ottawa offered cash to provinces to harmonize their sales taxes across the country, the few holdouts remain cool to the HST idea. On Tuesday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Ottawa was willing to offer financial support to provinces choosing to harmonize their provincial sales tax with the federal GST.

Business groups like the idea because they argue it reduces red tape and lowers the tax on investment. But harmonization detractors argue it ends up costing consumers more in real terms because the GST applies to more goods and services than the provincial levy.
Now a B.C. court last week, defines the Harper Sales Tax, and clearly lays the blame where is should be laid: Legal case could expose Harper government to HST backlash
B.C.'s populist fight against the harmonized sales tax took an unexpected twist last week, one that could pose a challenge for the Harper Conservatives. As the Gordon Campbell government has gone about implementing the widely reviled new sales tax, its cabinet ministers and MLAs have done the heavy lifting in terms of selling it, however ineptly, to the public.

And so, blame overwhelmingly has been directed at the provincial Liberals, with the Conservative government in Ottawa bobbing and weaving to keep well out of the way. The feds in fact have been successful in that endeavour, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper making virtually no public comment on the tax or the vigorous fight against it in B. C, and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also keeping a safe distance. But last week's legal case in defence of the HST, launched by six business groups, brought public attention to the fact that the HST is wholly and completely a federal tax ...
And Jim Flaherty's new payroll tax, will again hurt Canadians.
At the end of this year, the Conservatives are going to increase payroll taxes by driving up Employment Insurance premiums – by a whopping 35%. These escalating Conservative EI taxes will become the fastest growing source of revenue for the Harper government.

What's the logic in that? Just when our economy is struggling to recover from a recession, the Conservatives impose a big new tax-on-jobs. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says Conservative EI taxes "will kill jobs and undermine economic recovery".
And yet in order to go ahead with corporate tax cuts, they are going to have to borrow more money on our behalf. Sounds a bit odd, doesn't it?

We can no longer afford this government. They are now presiding over one of the largest , if not the largest, tax increase in Canadian history.

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