(November 22, 2012, Charlottetown, PE) – NDP PEI leader Mike Redmond was left shaking his head in disbelief over the news that the Ghiz government had commissioned a report on the impact of HST to Island businesses but are choosing not to commission a similar one on the impact to consumers.
“Doing a study on the HST’s impact on business is one thing, but it is only half the equation.” said Redmond. The HST is a flat tax, which means it costs the same for everyone regardless of income. The largest impact will be on low income people: seniors, single parents, and Islanders struggling to get by on minimum wage.
Small businesses that provide services will also be negatively affected as their prices increase with the implementation of the HST. “If the HST is 14%, as currently stated by the Ghiz government, this means higher costs for services for all Islanders,” says Redmond. “If consumers are scared off by these price increases, small businesses may be forced to cut their prices, making it harder for them to survive.”
Premier Ghiz says the HST is needed for ‘balance’ and Minister Sheridan says it will ‘bring in $25 million in new taxes.‘ “This is yet another case of our government breaking campaign promises and dodging the real issues,” continued Redmond. “Once again we see the Minister of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs showing a complete lack of respect for Island families. Mr. Sheridan has been telling people that ‘everything’s going to be okay’. But he has produced no evidence, no numbers to back that up.” Redmond also alluded to the fact that Minister Sheridan addressed a public gathering by inferring that people could not understand the HST.
Redmond concluded by stating that what is required is a government that is fiscally responsible and fair for all Islanders.
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NDP PEI Leader