Dalton McGuinty's signature broken promise

    TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - Exactly four years to the day since Dalton
McGuinty signed his infamous tax pledge to the people of Ontario, John Tory
vowed to eliminate the $2.6 billion tax grab.
    "During the last campaign, Dalton McGuinty famously looked into the eyes
of Ontario voters and gave them his word. Then, Ontario saw the biggest income
tax hike in history," said John Tory. "Since day one, I have vowed to
eliminate Dalton McGuinty's so-called 'health' tax - a regressive, unfair tax
that Ontarians were never supposed to pay."
    On September 11, 2003, Dalton McGuinty appeared in front of cameras,
flanked by dozens of Liberal MPPs and candidates, to sign a pledge to the
Canadian Taxpayers' Federation that he would not raise taxes. He then ran
millions of dollars worth of advertising to tell the people of Ontario that he
would not raise taxes. However, in his first budget after being elected,
Dalton McGuinty introduced the single largest income tax hike in Ontario's
history with his so-called 'health' tax - a tax that is not even dedicated to
health care.
    The tax unfairly targets lower and middle-income families by placing a
disproportionate burden on them. By calling the tax a 'premium', Dalton
McGuinty ensured that taxpayers are now paying twice for the tax due to
successful union challenges calling for public-sector employers to pay the tax
on behalf of their employees.
    John Tory has laid out a clear plan as to how the Ontario PC Party will
eliminate Dalton McGuinty's so-called 'health' tax, and bring truth to the
taxes we pay. The Ontario PC financial plan details how Dalton McGuinty's
unfair tax will be phased out over four years, beginning January 1st, 2008.
All costing and spending commitments contained in the Ontario PC platform
Leadership Matters are based on the province's fiscal projections audited by
Ontario's Auditor General.
    "In the name of fairness to taxpayers, honesty to voters and economic
growth and job creation, Dalton McGuinty's so-called 'health' tax must be
eliminated," said Tory. "Ontario deserves a Premier and government that lays
out a clear plan, tells you how they're going to pay for it and delivers on
its promises. That is exactly what I intend to do."

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            Backgrounder - Eliminating the So-Called "Health" Tax

    Dalton McGuinty made a promise. With much fanfare - he signed the
Canadian Taxpayers Federation pledge not to raise taxes.
    Then, he broke his promise.
    When Dalton McGuinty broke his promise, he not only betrayed our trust;
he also placed an unacceptable burden on lower and middle-income taxpayers and
cost Ontario jobs. Dalton McGuinty's flip-flop on this tax is the ultimate
broken promise.

    Dalton McGuinty's election promise:

    "I, Dalton McGuinty, promise that if my party is elected as the next
government, I will not raise taxes or implement any new taxes without the
explicit consent of Ontario voters."(1)
    After repeatedly making this promise during the 2003 election campaign,
Dalton McGuinty proceeded in his first budget to impose the single largest tax
increase in Ontario's history with his so-called 'health' tax.
    To deflect blame for his original broken promise Dalton McGuinty made a
second promise to review the health tax in 2009. Upon the release of his 2007
platform, he broke this promise as well saying the so-called health tax was
here to stay because "I need that money".

    This tax is the hallmark of Dalton McGuinty's political record

    This so-called "health" tax does not go to healthcare but is directed
into the general revenue fund to flow into Liberal wasteful spending, like
year-end slush funds.
    At that time, Dalton McGuinty can spend the money however he wishes.

    The so-called 'health' tax is a drain on Ontario's economy

    Taxes, such as Dalton McGuinty's so-called "health" tax, make Ontario a
less attractive place to invest and thus reduce our competitive advantage.
This weakens our economy and can eliminate jobs.
    Ontarians are feeling the economic effects of Ontario's lack of growth
under Dalton McGuinty. Disposable incomes in Ontario are growing among the
slowest in the country. They have grown annually by 4 per cent over the
previous four years - fully 0.8 per cent slower than the national average.(2)
    Meanwhile, Dalton McGuinty's Liberals engage in out-of-control spending,
like rushing money out the year in year-end slush funds. They have increased
government spending by 7.9 per cent each year or more than $22.4 billion

    The unfair structure of the so-called 'health' tax

    Under this tax, a family with a taxable income of $25,000 has to pay 1.3%
of their income to the health tax, while a person with an income of $1,000,000
only has to pay a fraction of that - 0.09%.
    The health tax is even more regressive than a flat tax. It's a
middle-class tax, plain and simple.

                   Dalton McGuinty's Regressive Health Tax
    Taxable Income   Health Tax Payable   Health Tax as Percentage of Income
    $25,000                $300                           1.20%
    $40,000                $450                           1.12%
    $60,000                $600                           1.00%
    $80,000                $750                           0.94%
    $100,000               $750                           0.75%
    $200,000               $900                           0.45%
    $1,000,000             $900                           0.09%

    John Tory will eliminate this tax and put Ontario taxpayers' dollars back
    in their pockets

    A John Tory PC Government will eliminate the so-called "health" tax,
phasing it out gradually and responsibly. Our Ontario PC fiscal plan, based on
the pre-election report of Ontario's Auditor General, estimates that
government revenue will increase by 18% over the next four years. John Tory
believes that 3% of that growth should be used to reduce the tax burden on
Ontario's working families.
    Thus, at the same time as reducing the tax burden on Ontario's working
families, a John Tory PC Government will significantly increase health care
investments so that by the fourth year of our mandate, health spending will be
$8.5 billion more than current spending levels.

    (1) September 11, 2003 news conference; Dalton McGuinty signed the
    Canadian Taxpayers Federation's Taxpayer Protection Promise.
    (2) Conference Board of Canada; Provincial Outlook - Summer 2007.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Mike Van Soelen, (647) 722-1760

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