December 11, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Opposition Leader Brian Pallister called on the NDP government today to call an election to defend its July 1 increase of the provincial sales tax.
Pallister said in the absence of a referendum on the tax hike, the Selinger government should instead allow Manitobans to voice their opinions on the tax at the ballot box.
"It did not receive a mandate to increase the PST," Pallister said. "It promised to not raise taxes and is proposing to do so now without making the case that it should and so the government must do one of two things: either call an referendum on the PST or call an election and let Manitobans decide.
"I think it’s the right thing for them to do."
The government has already tabled legislation that would allow it to raise the PST one point to eight per cent without the need for a referendum as outlined under The Balanced Budget Act. Bill 20 is to come up for a vote in the legislative assembly after the house resumes sitting Nov. 12.
The next provincial election is to be held April 19, 2016 should there be a federal election in the fall of 2015. The NDP is now half way through their mandate having won a fourth consecutive majority government in the Oct. 2011 general election.
Pallister said despite that, he believes an election should be called sooner than later.
He said the reason is because documents released last week by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation revealed the NDP ignored the advice of the government bureaucrats in raising the PST.
"That tells you the level to which this government has sunk," he said.
Updated on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 8:07 PM CDT:
audio, photo added.