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Freedom Party of Ontario


For immediate release


The Right Fix for the HST:
Scrap the $2.9B Health Premium

June 23, 2010, Oshawa - "Eliminating Ontario's Health Premium would make the July 1st, 2010 imposition of Ontario's Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) almost revenue neutral", says Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever. "I am calling upon the Premier to eliminate the Health Premium as soon as the Legislature can effect that change.

"The switch from the PST to the HST is expected to increase annual tax revenues by $3B, and that "tax grab" is the main implication currently fueling widespread opposition to the tax. The Health Premium introduced by the McGuinty government in its first term brings in approximately $2.9B per year. Both revenue streams are collected in the Consolidated Revenue Fund so, by eliminating the Health Premium, the McGuinty government could make the HST almost revenue neutral, as it had originally promised.

"Eliminating the Health Premium would have other benefits as well. It would arguably lower the government's administrative costs of taxation. And, given that the imposition of the Health Premium is what made many Ontarians doubt the Premier's ability to keep a promise, repealing the Health Premium might go some way toward healing a deep political wound."

McKeever also condemned Ontario's Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak for his failure in the role of opposition leader. "A shift to taxing consumption rather than taxing production facilitates a situation in which one is not taxed on ones savings. It allows every individual greater control over his or her tax burden. It ensures that everyone who uses what the Ontario government pays for - even those visiting from other provinces or countries - contributes to the associated costs, so that Ontarians are not left footing the entire bill for goods or services consumed by those who do not pay Ontario income taxes and property taxes. A tax on sales is also inherently a single-rate tax, unlike the Health Premium or other income-based taxes. No tax is a good tax, but single-rate sales taxes are the least offensive, and it is politically and economically counterproductive to condemn such a tax while more punitive taxes continue to exist. For Mr. Hudak to condemn the HST - or to recommend exemptions from the HST instead of advocating the repeal of more harmful taxes - is a disservice to everyone who wants a less punitive tax system."

For further details, contact:

Paul McKeever, Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario
e-mail: pmckeever@freedomparty.on.ca
Office: 905-721-9772

This media release distributed to all major news media
and to Ontario's MPPs

Freedom Party of Ontario
240 Commissioners Road West
London, Ontario

Tel: 1-800-830-3301
web: https://freedomparty.on.ca