Last week the 2013-14 federal budget document was presented to Parliament.
I was not impressed by the budget, and while my staff and I are still studying the document we have already found many items that will hurt families and businesses and that we will oppose. Let me highlight some of them here.
Who can forget the HST move right? Well, while campaigning (again) in 2011 as the ‘low tax party,’ the Harper Conservatives have raised our taxes again.
You’ll recall that the Finance Minister Jim Flaherty contacted Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan to pitch the idea of “harmonizing” the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) with the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2010.
We were told it was good because business liked it, but the reality was that it raised the costs of basic goods and services – everything from gasoline to snowplowing to haircuts – while letting business off the hook.
Well…here they go again.
The 2013-14 federal increases taxes by $7.8 billion over the next five years. The annual increase in taxes starts at $500 million in 2013-14 and increases to $2.3 billion annually by 2017-18.
We can also put these tax hikes into a broader perspective by including measures from Budget 2010, 2011, and 2012. Between 2010-2011 and 2017-18, Conservatives will have increased taxes on Canadians by $19.5 billion.
Increased International Tariffs on Goods
While they have handed out a few tax credits over their eight years in power for everything from hockey equipment to music lessons, the fact of the matter is that the prices of ordinary and essential goods and services have risen dramatically during this time thanks in large part to Conservative policies.
This time around, the Conservatives are raising the prices on over 1,200 goods that Canada imports from over 70 countries by increasing tariffs by $333 million. Between 2014 and 2018, this tax hike will total nearly $1.1 billion – which of course will be passed on to consumers by the companies that are forced to pay them to get their goods into our country.
Oh…and you’ll pay that extra HST on these items as well making them even more expensive.
Small Business Tax Increases
Budget 2013 also raises taxes on small business through its changes to the Dividend Tax Credit, which is funny (as in strange) given the Harper Conservatives reputation for helping corporations and cutting taxes. Increasingly, this reputation is being proven false.
Budget 2013-14 will take $2.3 billion out of the pockets of small businesses, their owners, and their employees through various small measures.
Don’t you hate digging into to your pocket to pay sky high parking fees at hospitals as you visit loved ones or tend to your own personal health needs?
The same probably goes for parking near schools and in municipal parking spaces I’m sure.
Well get set to pay more.
It’s true. You have Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to thank too since the 2013-‘14 federal budget changes the tax laws so that the HST will now be applied to parking at hospitals, designated school areas, and municipal property.
The result? Parking in these locations - which is extraordinarily expensive to begin with – is now set to increase by 13 per cent.
As my staff continue to scan the 433-page behemoth that is this budget we will be elaborating, in this space, on the significant negative implications for credit unions and their customers, First Nations, for infrastructure and development in the Ring of Fire, and how some substantial funding cuts (10 to 17 per cent) are essentially neutering the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) and hurting families, businesses, and development in Northwestern Ontario.
Oh…I almost forgot to add that the deficit this year is actually expected to rise in spite of all these tax hikes and fees to $18.7 billion next year - $2.2 billion higher than the Department of Finance predicted just last November.
More to come…
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