HST increase a bad idea for P.E.I. economy, says Progressive Conservative MLA Matthew MacKay

Published on February 26, 2016

Opposition MLA Matthew MacKay

©Heather Taweel/The Guardian

A growing chorus of groups speaking out against an HST hike should be a clear message to the MacLauchlan government, says Kensington-Malpeque MLA Matthew MacKay.

“At a time when our economy is bleeding jobs, taking even more money out of the pockets of Islanders through an HST hike is a bad idea by the MacLauchlan government,” MacKay said Friday.

“An HST hike will punish vulnerable Islanders, restrict economic growth and drive up existing costs like power rates. As an Opposition we've been saying this for some time and a growing number of groups are also speaking out against an HST hike.”

A number of business and lobby groups are publicly weighing in against the idea of the MacLauchlan government increasing the HST to 15 per cent.

The New Brunswick government recently announced an HST increase to 15 per cent to match Nova Scotia's HST rate after Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil publicly advocated for the creation of a common regional HST rate.

The list of groups speaking out against an HST increase in Prince Edward Island includes the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the Council of Canadians.

“We know when the HST came in it devastated the building sector on the Island and it still hasn't recovered. I hope the MacLauchlan government listens to common sense and abandons its plans for an HST hike,” MacKay said.