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The McGuinty Government: A Threat to Ontario's Families

Respect.  Relief.  For Families (Queen's Park Report - March 21, 2011) Next week the McGuinty Liberals will present this year’s Ontario Budget.  In light of what Dalton McGuinty has done to household finances, nobody should believe a word that he says.

Let’s not forget the 2003 election when Mr. McGuinty said, “I'm telling Ontario families that their taxes will not go up tomorrow or any day under a Liberal government." 

Seven months later, he brought in what was the single largest tax increase in Ontario history when he implemented the Health Tax.  This greedy tax grab has robbed $18 billion from families and seniors since being implemented – so much for that pledge not to raise taxes. During his seven and a half years in office, Mr. McGuinty and his team have added a myriad of new taxes, fees and increased costs onto Ontario families. 

The Harmonized Sales Tax added 8% in new taxes to thousands of products and services including haircuts, home heating fuel, electricity and gasoline, just to name a few.  All told, this tax will deplete our collective pocketbooks by about $3 billion per year, making it a bigger and even greedier tax grab than the Health Tax.

The Green Energy Act, the $53 million hidden hydro tax, smart meters and time-of-use metering are the latest assaults on household finances.  Since 2003, hydro rates have gone up 75%.  Over the next 5 years, rates will rise by at least another 46%.  That doesn’t include Mr. McGuinty’s decision to extend the Debt Retirement Charge by seven years, which amounts to $1 billion per year, plus HST.

There have also been hikes in auto insurance rates, while coverage requirements were reduced.  He applied the Land Transfer Tax on fractional ownership, implemented the Ontario Tire Stewardship Fee, and increased fees for various government services including Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration and driver testing.

We have the highest tuition rates in all of Canada and the highest fines and penalties for seat belt, speeding and other traffic infractions.  Mr. McGuinty increased taxes on beer, wine and spirits and even raised the floor price on beer, and let’s not forget his sneaky eco-taxes that he slapped on electronics such as computers, TVs and iPods.

Families now have to use their credit card instead of their OHIP card for eye exams, physiotherapy and chiropractic appointments.  In fact, out of pocket health care expenses paid by middle class households jumped by 43% in the last 10 years. 

What affect do these endless tax hikes have on households?  Well, we’re working longer and harder than ever with less and less to show for our efforts.  We spend more time on wait lists and line-ups for services while the system wastes valuable resources, like at eHealth and Local Health Integration Networks.

Personal bankruptcy figures for Ontario reveal that in the first nine months of 2010, 37,462 residents declared bankruptcy and the number of consumer bankruptcy proposals filed increased by 26%

Clearly life in Ontario has changed.  Mr. McGuinty has turned Ontario into a have-not province with have-not households. 

The Ontario PC Caucus, under the leadership of Tim Hudak, is calling on the McGuinty government to put families first in the Budget and put an end to government waste and abuse of tax dollars.  We believe that families need relief for their pocketbooks and respect for how every one of their tax dollars are used.

Families are being forced to make difficult decisions to balance their household budgets.  Dalton McGuinty should do the same.




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