On July 1, 2010 the new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) came into effect in Ontario and British Columbia. Statistics Canada predicted that the HST would cost each family living in those provinces an additional $512 annually. On August 20 Statistics Canada released reported that consumer prices in Ontario rose 2.9 per cent in July1. According to Statistics Canada this is the largest year to year increase in Canada. Media sources across Canada are reporting that the HST is driving inflation higher accounting for 1.3% of the increase, considerably higher than a TD Bank report used by the government to justify the HST.
Ontario consumers are now paying an additional 8% on gasoline, electricity, home heating fuel, auto insurance premiums and home renovation costs as well a 18% of consumer goods that previously only had the 5% GST (federal). What does this really mean? Speaking as a somewhat average Canadian consumer I was quite surprised at the difference. Here are the prominent cost of living increases we have experienced due to the HST as per the most recent bills:
- electricity - HST was $7.27
- telephone - HST was $8.27
- television (satellite)* - HST was $9.27
- internet (satellite)* - HST was $7.15
- natural gas (heating, hot water, dryer, grill) - HST was $7.67
The HST is nothing but a greedy tax grab! Rather than moving Ontario and British Columbia forward it is going to be putting it into more of a recession as people can no longer afford even the basics in life like home heating. I'm sorry but to those on fixed incomes an overall increase just on the basics of $39.63, well actually it is more than that because we now have a TV tax, the Ontario Hydro debt retirement (thanks to the Ontario government's mismanagement), and a host of user fees with from all predictions many more to come thanks to Dalton McGuinty's government. These really are dark days for living in Ontario! Food insecurity continues to rise, monetary and food donations are down, the food banks are hurting, the social assistance and unemployment rolls are rising AND the only solution McGuinty's government can come up with it to tax us more?
*We live in a rural area. We have a choice of dial-up internet or satellite service and that's it. We have a choice of antenna (about 4 channels) or satellite, that's it. Since we stay home especially in the winter rather than going out to theatres and that type of thing, the internet and television are our main source of entertainment.