Premier Dalton McGuinty is finally bringing in what some have seen coming for years: a harmonized sales tax on all goods and services. That means GST-only goods will now have PST on them; services that are taxed GST only will now also have PST charged on them.
The Federal government has been pushing Ontario for years to do this, and the time is ripe. McGuinty apparently negotiated "billions of dollars in federal financial assistance" before he would say yes to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government; the Ontario Tories have just emasculated their own leader because of petty partisanship within their own party, leaving the capable new leader of the Ontario NDP Andrea Horwath to lead the opposition, but from second seat territory; and most importantly from McGuinty's view, the electorate has shown itself to be far more passive and ignorant these days than in the Brian Mulroney era. Back then people held rallies; people debated the GST; people held Sheila Copps to account when Prime Minister Jean Chretien broke his promise about the GST -- we are still taxed on books.
But then things started to go south for citizens and rosy for politicians. The people didn't punish Copps for being party to the GST promise break. Instead they started the second-chance mantra. It's why we have municipal politicians who think nothing of charging taxpayers for their voice lessons, Elvises, and bunny suits; and provincial politicians who bring in a health tax and get re-elected; and federal politicians (and an economist to boot) who can't see the global recession coming when we're right in the thick of it and get re-elected anyway.
We have become a nation of can-don't. I have no idea what happened to our collective psyche that we're unwilling to toss out those who cost us and bring into power those with fresh ideas, but this is what that psyche will cost us here in Ontario.
- You will pay 7 cents per litre more on gasoline, give or take, depending on high it goes.
- You will pay about $160 more per year on your average heating costs, assuming you have an insulated house and already keep the thermostat down.
- You will pay $80 more to your mandatory lawyer when you buy your new home, that's on top of the extra land transfer taxes Torontonians rolled over and accepted. (See how passivity ends up hitting and hitting and hitting your wallet?)
- You will pay 32 cents more for every $4 burger. Do you expect McDonald's to drop their cost by that much to help you pay for your roll-over-and-take-it attitude? Ha!
- You will pay $800 more per year for daycare if it costs $10,000. Extrapolate from that for your own daycare costs.
- You will pay $80 more on house insurance of $1000. Imagine how much more you will pay extra for your car insurance.
- You will pay $9.60 more on hydro costs of $120 every 2 months. If your hydro bill is higher than mine, or if you pay monthly, it'll be much more than the $115.20 extra I'll be paying.
- You will pay $40,000 more to buy a new home worth $500,001 or more.
- You will pay $120 more to the real estate agent if you sell your home for only $250,000.
- You will pay 80 cents more per $10 of taxi ride.
- You will pay $16 more on that $200 plumber's bill to unclog your drains.
- Do you pay GST to your pet's vet? You will now pay more, 8 percent PST more.
- Think your home healthcare is exempt? Not for much longer if the federal tax agency gets its way, and then it'll be 8 percent more too.
- You will pay more to bury your mom and dad, your grandparent or brother.