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Province flush with tax revenues even without PST hike: Pallister

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'What we’re saying is Manitobans could do with a few less ribbon cuttings and they could do with a few more dollars on the kitchen table at the end of the month,' says Pallister.

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'What we’re saying is Manitobans could do with a few less ribbon cuttings and they could do with a few more dollars on the kitchen table at the end of the month,' says Pallister.

Manitoba’s PST hike will give the Selinger government a revenue windfall that far exceeds that enjoyed by any other province, Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister says.

This morning, the Conservatives released a cross-Canada comparison of revenue growth over the next couple of years.

With the PST in Manitoba rising a percentage point to eight per cent this summer, the provincial government will see tax revenues grow 22.7 per cent between 2012 and 2015, Pallister said. The next highest percentage growth over the same period is in Alberta, where provincial tax revenues are projected to rise by 17 per cent, he said.

The Tories said they based the figures on provincial budget papers. The figures do not include federal transfer payments.

Even without the PST increase, the Selinger government would still be rolling in dough, Pallister said.

The cross-Canada comparison shows that Manitoba would still enjoy a 13.6 per cent increase in revenues over the same time frame, second only to Alberta among provinces and above the average of 11.3 per cent.

"Times are tight for a lot of Manitoba families and the Manitoba middle class is getting squeezed," said Pallister in renewing his call for the government to abandon the PST increase.

Enabling legislation for the tax hike has yet to be passed by the Manitoba legislature.

The Conservatives also released a chart showing that since its April 16 budget, the province has committed to spending nearly $1.2 billion through Aug. 26 in what the Tories call a "massive ribbon cutting tour."

"What we’re saying is Manitobans could do with a few less ribbon cuttings and they could do with a few more dollars on the kitchen table at the end of the month," Pallister said.

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