Friday, June 16, 2006

The Miller Scoop: 1 for Him, 6 for Harper

Did you hear the one about how the City of Toronto and taxis and the Parking Authority are indulging in theft?

According to the radio news, the city is not going to reduce the GST it charges from 7% to 6% as it's too much trouble. (On a side note: can't find this news item on thestar.com.) It'll just pocket the difference in a sneak pay hike. Meanwhile cab drivers cannot afford to take a half day off to do the right thing -- changing their machinery to calculate GST at 6% -- they too need a pay hike, so they'll keep charging riders 7% and keep the difference. And of course the Parking Authority is pretty poor too, and they deserve an extra $800,000 plus per year. So they too will keep charging 7% GST, send 6/7 of it to Ottawa and keep 1/7 of it. (Of course, if the GST went up, they'd be changing their calculating machines toute de suite!) You OK with this?

If so, think about this: it'll become like the gas tax. Every time the city or taxi companies or the PA hikes fees, GST will be calculated on the total, which means that 1% fraudulently charged will become more than 1%. On a $1 item, 1% is a penny. When they hike the fees, let's say to $1.50, 1% will not stay a penny, it'll become a penny and a half. In other words, that difference they pocket will become incrementally larger with each hike in fees. And it will double when Harper reduces the GST to 5% and these three entities again do not reduce the amount of GST they charge. We will pay this extra amount every year, year after year after year. Still OK with this?

It seems Stephen Harper is. Apparently this Conservative Prime Minister who talks about getting governments out of taxpayers' pockets, who talks about law and order, is willing to sit by and watch Toronto, cabbies, and the PA steal from us. Maybe it's cause we're Torontonians, so who cares, right? Maybe we deserve the (Mayor David) Miller Scoop, as one CFRB caller calls it. But if Harper is serious about being Prime Minister, wherein all the people of Canada are his constituents, and about his principles, then he has to hold his nose and stand up for us, his constituents. Because lord knows, Miller will not do the right thing unless forced to.

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Update:

According to the TV news tonight, the city is only considering this at the moment (cannot find links to this story on CTV or Global News which did report on it, weird). If city council later this month does approve keeping the 1% for themselves as a nifty little tax hike for the city, then David Miller ASSURES us that next year the city will implement the GST tax reduction. Apparently the timing of it makes it too costly to reduce it now as the fees have already been set (I guess the city missed the entire election campaign, the throne speech, and the budget announcement).

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