HST hike will hit hardest on Islanders least able to afford higher taxes
Belfast – This week’s increase to the HST by the MacLauchlan government will hit hardest on Islanders least able to afford higher taxes, says Belfast-Murray River MLA and Opposition Finance Critic Darlene Compton.
“This week’s HST increase will make it harder for a lot of families and working Islanders. We know Islanders have the lowest average weekly wage earnings in Canada and that the basic personal tax exemption is also the lowest in Canada. The HST increase will leave even less money in Islanders pockets as the cost of gas, electricity and other essentials goes up again,” says Compton.
The MacLauchlan government announced the increase to the HST in this spring’s provincial budget. The HST increase will take tens of millions of dollar out of the sluggish Island economy and into government coffers annually on a wide range of goods and services such as minor sports registrations, high-speed internet bills, and funerals. Government estimates placed the added cost to Island households at hundreds of dollars annually along with an estimated increase to the cost of living of at least one half percent.
“For Islanders struggling already with the rising cost of living every month adding hundreds of dollars in extra costs will be tough. As the cost for gas, lights and other essentials goes up from the HST increase it will make it even harder for families and seniors to get by. That’s what the MacLauchlan government doesn’t get as it picks the pockets of Islanders again,” said Compton.
The HST increases to 15 per cent on October 1.