Nov 16, 2009
Ontario’s Liberal government will introduce legislation Monday to harmonize the province’s eight per cent sales tax with the five per cent GST.
In addition to creating a single, 13 per cent sales tax next July, the bill also includes a series of cuts to income, small business and corporate taxes that would take effect in January.
The province needs to make businesses more competitive so they can hire more people and lower prices for consumers, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said. The tax package is about creating jobs and rebuilding Ontario’s economy as it emerges from the recession, he said.
The bill also provides for tax rebate cheques of up to $1,000 for families to help offset the impact of the HST in the first year.
The opposition parties call the HST a blatant tax grab that will add eight per cent to many items now exempt from the provincial sales tax, including gasoline, home heating fuel and hydro bills.
Ontario’s New Democrats say the Liberal government is kicking people when they’re down.
‘Job killing tax’
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath told the legislature on Monday that people "don’t want a new tax that will make life more expensive during these tough economic times."
Horwath calls the HST a "job killing tax" and says the government should not be giving profitable companies a huge tax cut.
Premier Dalton McGuinty says the New Democrats are stuck in the past and view all corporations as evil.
McGuinty points to a study the government commissioned that shows moving to a single sales tax will help create almost 600,000 jobs over 10 years.
The National Citizen’s Coalition estimates the HST will cost the average taxpayer an additional $800 to $1,000 annually.