Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dalton McGuinty Planning To Raise Our Taxes Again?

I think it's a valid question.

Now, this isn't a post on the merits of raising, lowering, or maintaining current tax levels; this is just a simple question.

Back in the 2003 Ontario general election, then Opposition Leader Dalton McGuinty promised not to raise taxes, nor to cut them. During his first year in office as Liberal Premier, he raised taxes - breaking that pledge. The Ontario NDP called it an "unfair, regressive health tax." It should be noted at the same time as the health care premium was introduced, health care services available under OHIP were cut.

Mr. McGuinty indicated that his new government was unaware of the financial health of the province and that money due for needed services was unavailable. So, he broke his promise not to raise taxes to address the "social deficit".

Well, now, presumably, he is aware of the financial health of the province, as his ongoing struggle over the fiscal imbalance seems to indicate.

Suppose now that the worst fear held by Premiers is right and that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is going to disappoint a lot of provinces in addressing the fiscal imbalance to favour Quebec. The fiscal imbalance between Ontario and Ottawa will still exist, and money needed for services will still be required.

Again, we have three by-elections coming up in February well in advance of the federal budget. Premier Dalton McGuinty should know now if he has a plan in place to raise taxes to meet service delivery deficiency if Ottawa does not increase transfer payments. Indeed, he continues to reference the social deficit Ontarians face by the very existence of the fiscal imbalance.

Are his Liberal candidates talking about this while they are campaigning?

Is Dalton McGuinty planning to raise our taxes again?

Updated: Added labels.

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