Ontario Conservatives Flip Flop on Tax Cuts

BINBROOK, ON, June 1 /CNW/ - Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan was in Binbrook, Ontario today at an event with a local business owner, where he challenged local Conservative MPP Tim Hudak on his flip flop on tax cuts. Duncan met with the owner of Countrywide Recycling Inc. to discuss how Ontario's tax reforms will help the company grow and create jobs.

Ontario's tax reform plan includes tax cuts for families and businesses as well as a harmonized sales tax. Just last year Ontario Conservatives supported tax cuts and sales tax harmonization. Now they oppose those tax changes but pointedly refuse to promise any repeal.

Embarrassingly for Tim Hudak, Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty endorse the HST saying it is the single greatest thing Ontario can do to become more competitive and create jobs.

Over 140 countries and 4 other Canadian provinces already have an HST - removing hidden taxes and instead putting in place a single harmonized sales tax. In those jurisdictions, businesses have used those savings to invest in new technologies, boost productivity and create new jobs.

Ontario's tax changes are supported by groups as varied as the Daily Bread Food Bank and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. The Centre for Policy Alternatives issued a report titled "Not a Tax Grab After All" that concluded middle income Ontarians would come out even, while low-income Ontarians would save money with these changes.

Quotes:

"I am pleased to be here at Countrywide Recycling to see how the McGuinty government's tax changes will give Ontario companies a competitive edge. As we emerge from the global recession we need to ensure our businesses have more opportunities to grow and create jobs here. Tim Hudak and the Conservatives have no plan. They used to support the HST, now they say they don't and they won't promise to repeal it if elected."

- Dwight Duncan, MPP (Windsor - Tecumseh)

"The HST will benefit us in the building of our plant and in buying our equipment. The money we'll be saving will enable us to do more business and hire more employees."

- John Voortman, Owner, Countrywide Recycling Inc.

    
    Quick Facts:

    -   Four Atlantic provinces already have the HST and British Columbia
        will implement the HST on July 1st along with Ontario
    -   C.D. Howe Institute reported that after implementing the HST in
        Atlantic Provinces, annual machinery & equipment investment rose
        12.2%.
    -   The C.D. Howe Institute also reported that after the introduction of
        the HST in the Atlantic provinces, consumer prices on many items,
        like furniture and health care services were significantly lower.
    -   Over 140 countries and 37 US States also have a similar value-added
        tax
    -   A University of Alberta study predicts the HST will lead to an
        additional 600,000 jobs being created in Ontario over the next
        10 years.
    

BACKGROUNDER: Conservative Support for Tax Harmonization

"...to be clear I believe that there's little sense in allowing two separate governments to apply two separate sets of taxes and policies and collect two separate groups of sales taxes" Tim Hudak, April 23, 2009. speaking at the Economic Club of Toronto

"In the manufacturing sector, the problem with the PST is it cascades, so every step along the way there's tax on tax on tax, which raises the cost of goods and particularly punishes exporters. So we understand how that can help the economy we understand how that (single sales tax) can help the economy." Tim Hudak, March 24, 2009

"It's not a tax grab. That is a misnomer to mislead the public to get them excited about something that's not accurate." Mike Wallace. (Conservative MP, Burlington) October 12, 2009. The Hill Times

"The tax changes made are important changes that will encourage investment." "It's a massive tax reduction for those that employ Ontarians, for those that drive the Ontario economy." "It's a politically courageous decision." Dean Del Mastro. (Conservative MP, Peterborough) March 27, 2009. Peterborough Examiner

"This is jobs, this is investment, this is good economic policy." Jim Flaherty. (Federal Finance Minister). March 27, 2009. Toronto Star

"I have long said provincial sales tax harmonization is the single most important step provinces with retail sales taxes could take to improve the competitiveness of Canadian businesses." Jim Flaherty. (Federal Finance Minister). January 24, 2009. The Globe & Mail

The Ontario Conservative Party wrote in their 2009 pre-budget submission: "The Official Opposition calls on this government to heed the call of the federal government and take immediate action to fix Ontario's uncompetitive tax structure."

SOURCE Liberal Caucus Service Bureau

For further information: For further information: Andrew Teliszewsky, ateliszewsky@liberal.ola.org, (416) 325-3670

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