What’s all this about the HST?

I got a mailing from the Ontario New Democratic Party a couple of days ago about an “Unfair Tax Grab.” If you don’t mind, I’d like to quote the bulk of it.

“Dalton McGuinty’s new HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) will force thousands of Ontarians struggling with tough economic times to pay more for daily essentials – but the money raised won’t be going to local health needs.

“The new tax will add 8% to the cost of home heating, hydro, bicycles, internet fees and more. Families could end up spending as much as $1,300 a year in new taxes. That should generate a lot of money for healthcare but it won’t. Instead, the McGuinty tax plan gives every penny away in business tax cuts – without seeking any guarantees on jobs or environmental protection.

“The people of Ontario want taxes to fund health and education, not to finance a corporate tax giveaway that rewards companies who don’t create jobs.”

Admittedly, I haven’t been keeping up with the HST as an issue. In fact, this is really all I know about it so far, and I don’t want to take it at face value since it’s coming from an opposition party. I like healthcare, and I’m not a big fan of corporate tax giveaways, but I guess that’s why I’m a New Democrat in the first place. I’m willing to bet there’s more to the issue than you could fit on a flyer like this.

What are your thoughts? Is the HST a good thing or a bad thing? Whenever I ask these kinds of questions in this space, I get some really informative answers. Don’t let me down, handful of readers!

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3 Responses to “What’s all this about the HST?”

  1. jason says:

    A few weeks ago on the tee-vee (“Stop the TV tax! The ghost of Ted Rogers is flat-broke!!!”), I saw some (real) man-on-the-street interviews about this issue. They happened upon someone from Halifax and asked them if they thought the HST was an outrage, and he said, “To be honest, nobody out in the Maritimes really thinks about it too much.”

    As Haligonians go, so I go; they produced Sloan, after all. Therefore, I don’t care.

  2. Kate says:

    Since I come from a country that already has all their sales taxes in one lump, and included in the price of goods, I don’t see what the big fuss is about.

    I do, however, agree that any extra income from the HST should be spent on healthcare, education and infrastructure, not corporate tax cuts.

  3. Stephanie says:

    The only thing I know about it is that it’ll make it next to impossible for me to sell to Canadians. Out of province customers will now basically be paying Ontario Sales Tax despite not actually living here. That’s cool though – I’m gonna stop advertising to Canadians, and probably stop even allowing them to order from us because it’s a pain in my ass to explain to them why I can sell and ship products to people in L.A. cheaper than people in Toronto. Grrrrrrrrr…..