Jobs and Economy
Historic New Taxes, New Debt and New Deficits Come to Ontario
Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson knocked Dalton McGuinty’s 2009 Budget today after it introduced new taxes on gasoline at the pump, electricity, cell phones, cable, internet fees, haircuts, pedicures, real estate commissions, gym memberships, taxis, newspapers, magazines, postage, and fast food under $4 to name just some of Ontario’s new Liberal taxes.
The Budget introduces the new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which will cost the average family about $3,000 per family per year and creates the largest deficit in Ontario’s history ($14.1 billion this year). The provincial debt has been doubled to $200 billion which costs taxpayers $11.1 billion per year in debt servicing costs. That amounts to almost a million dollars an hour every hour of every day, 365 days per year on interest alone.
“That interest money goes to New York bond holders and does nothing to help build hospitals or support our schools,” said Wilson. “All because the Liberals have hiked program spending by 69% since he came to office in 2003.”
To cushion the impact of the new tax, McGuinty is proposing to give families a one-time $1,000 rebate in three instalments, the last of which will be sent out just before the election.
“This clearly is bribery of the worst kind,” said Wilson. “It’s our own money that’s being collected by the taxman and returned it to us by McGuinty who will try to get us to forget that he took $3,000 from us in the first place.”
The Progressive Conservative MPP was also highly critical of the increased sales taxes on hotel rooms which he called “a devastating plan for tourism in our area” as the tax rate goes from 5% to 8%. Wilson had been pushing for a sales tax exemption to promote tourism instead of hurting it.
He pointed to several other areas that should be of concern to his constituents:
• No new long-term care beds will be built in Simcoe-Grey because the long-term care sector has been left in the cold province-wide yet again;
• No help for hospitals, including much needed expansions at Royal Victoria, Stevenson Memorial, Collingwood General and Marine and Markdale;
• Farmers will face increased paperwork in order to get tax exemptions, assuming they get any exemptions at all;
• Social assistance recipients will only get a 2% increase which goes against McGuinty’s 2003 promise to hike raise it by 22% in his first year in office showing the Liberals have no corner on compassion;
• $15,625 is what every person in Ontario carries as their share of the provincial debt;
• Ontario’s unemployment rate is the highest it has been in 12 years; and
• As of next week, we are officially a ‘have-not’ province
Wilson called McGuinty a “serial promise breaker” for promising not to raise taxes in 2003 only to hike them higher than any government in history in 2004. McGuinty made similar commitments in the 2007 election and even said last June “why would you hike taxes in a time of economic challenges” only to hike taxes once again today.
“There is no flashy headline that can deflect from the fact that Dalton McGuinty is raising taxes not just on the hardest hit Ontarians, but on all Ontarians, in the middle of an economic crisis,” said Wilson. “In all my years I have never witnessed such a devastating Budget for consumers.”