Opposition warns of possible HST hike on P.E.I.

Jim Day
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FILE PHOTO: Darlene Compton.

Opposition finance critic Darlene Compton wants Premier MacLauchlan to come clean on his plans

If the HST is raised in P.E.I., seniors, families and vulnerable Islanders will bear the brunt, says Opposition finance critic Darlene Compton.

Compton told Premier Wade MacLauchlan to "come clean'' with Islanders on his plans to raise the harmonized sales tax.

"It's looking more and more like the premier and his regional counterparts have been cooking up a secret deal behind closed doors to raise taxes again,'' Compton, the Belfast-Murray River MLA, said in a statement released Thursday.

"It's simply not good enough to say it's premature to comment at this time. The premier needs to be crystal clear with Islanders.''

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is calling on the Atlantic provinces to come together on a common HST rate of 15 per cent.

Islanders have been paying harmonized sales tax on some goods since April 1, 2013.

The total tax in the province actually decreased from 15.5 per cent to 14 with the introduction of HST, but tax increased on certain commodities.

McNeil argues the HST is the fairest tax in the region as long as it is common.

Compton says the HST has added $80 million a year to the tax bill, footed by Island families.

"Raising the HST will hurt Islanders by taking more money out of their pockets,'' she says.

"Increasing the HST won't help grow a fragile economy or create jobs for Islanders as recent history has shown.''

A spokesman from the Finance Department says since government has just begun its annual pre-budget consultations with Islanders, it would be unfair to Islanders to speculate about what will be in the budget until the process is complete.

"No decisions will be made until after we have gathered input from Islanders,'' he said.

Organizations: Finance Department

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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  • sentance
    January 29, 2016 - 10:39

    Possibly an editorial mistake by the Guardian, but there's a significant difference between " the HST has added $80 million a year to the tax bill, footed by Island families." and " the HST has added $80 million a year to the tax bill footed by Island families." The addition to the overall take from sales taxes was significantly less than that. The 80 million figure is an estimate of the net effect of bringing in the HST at a higher rate and shifting the tax load to some extent from businesses to consumers. Furthermore, to the extent that the savings from the HST have been passed on (and looking at the performance of the CPI I think there's some evidence of that) the added burden of the HST has been significantly less than 80 million.

  • Islander
    January 29, 2016 - 09:46

    This should not happen. Many Islanders are trapped for money in raising their families. Government can cut deep into all the wasted positions they have in Government to save money and as Rocahe says ,balance the budget. We have been lied to about that for years. If they do dhis there should be a mass protest in front of Government house.

  • jim
    January 29, 2016 - 08:47

    Sure, the liberals will take away that competivie advantage we have over NS. God knows we need everyone with this govt.

  • jim
    January 29, 2016 - 08:46

    Sure, the liberals will take away that competivie advantage we have over NS. God knows we need everyone with this govt.

  • Wade
    January 29, 2016 - 07:12

    Give themselves a raise. Then raise tax. Don't forget about the pensions they get. Oh, and slush fund. Pirates take what they want!

  • Garth Staples
    January 29, 2016 - 06:19

    Liberals always tax and spend.

    • UPWESTER
      January 29, 2016 - 08:51

      Garth, you are absolutely right. Tax and spend, that's all they know.