Harmonized sales tax, HST
McGuinty sticks it to Ontario - again
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The new harmonized sales tax (HST) is set to take effect on July 1. It’s not so much a harmonized tax as it is a new tax on services and some goods. The “you won’t pay a penny more in taxes” premier is set to raise taxes again as Ontarians will be paying 8 per cent more on such things as haircuts, legal fees, veterinary care and a whole host of things that people won’t realize they have to pay until they see it.
The result of this “harmonized tax” is that the province will no longer be collecting the provincial sales tax (PST) as they are currently doing so they will no longer need as many revenue employees as they currently have. But approximately 1,250 of these employees won’t be losing their jobs; they’ll simply cease to work for Ontario’s Ministry of Revenue and will begin working for the federal Canada Revenue Agency.
Many of these employees will continue to work in the same office as they are working in now and at the same desk. Although they will hardly notice the transition, they will have “technically” lost their provincial government jobs. And this of course means severance pay. These employees will receive up to $45,000 each for giving up their provincial paycheck in return for a government of Canada one. Despite the fact that these employees will not lose anything, the taxpayers will fork over an estimated $25 million to Dalton McGuinty’s union buddies.
British Columbia, which is also introducing the HST in July, will not be paying its employees who will change employers and remain doing the same job that they are currently doing. The Ontario premier justifies this total waste of taxpayer money on the fact that the right to compensation is in the collective agreement that the government signed with the employees. But this blatant contempt of Ontarians’ money even seems wrong to McGuinty who acknowledged that legislation could be passed to do away with severance payments to employees who, in this economy, will not miss a day of work unless of course they want to and the taxpayers will be paying for that as well.
So Dalton had to come up with a justification why hard working Ontarians have to pay taxes for such abuses. McGuinty’s rationale; his word is his word. These were the words of a guy who in a profession where many think “they all lie” stands out as a prolific liar. Every time he promises to raise taxes, he raises them, such as this “harmonized tax” and his previous promise that was broken by imposing a large health tax on the gullible population. The “word” of Dalton McGuinty Jr. means nothing except of course to Liberals and union members.
This is much worse than other provincial spending scandals such as the one at eHealth where money was squandered in contracts for little or no work being given to friends and the living by the philosophy that no expense was too small to ding the taxpayers for. While the premier was responsible for those extravagances because they took place under his watch, he did not necessarily have personal knowledge of either the abuses or the extent of overspending. But to pay severance pay to workers who will not be losing their jobs in this economy is unconscionable.
The next provincial election will be held next year and it’s time for McGuinty and his disgraceful overspending cabinet to go. But, he has a good chance of winning again. Although the Progressive Conservatives have a capable leader who, unlike the last one, is more conservative than progressive Tim Hudak has one major problem which could actually be a bonus for him. If Hudak were ever arrested in Ontario and put in a lineup, he can rest assured that there would be very little chance that anyone in the province would be able to identify him. But, there is still time for him to gain some visibility. We need a government that will at least have a minimum amount of respect for the people that they are elected to serve and their hard earned money.
Severance pay for not losing their jobs. Only in Ontario.