May 26, 2015


Hard to believe

Premier Greg Selinger is probably telling the truth this time when he says he isn't planning any "major tax increases" in 2015, although every taxpayer should probably brace for some minor increases in fees or services.

The problem is it's hard to believe a man who campaigned in 2011 on a platform that said any new taxes would be "ridiculous."

Since then, the premier has raised taxes in each of the last two years, including boosting the provincial sales tax by one percentage point.

The first hike, which eliminated many services that were exempt from the PST, cost Manitobans $105 million a year, while the second increase will pinch taxpayers' pockets for about $300 million annually.

The NDP could not even be honest about why they raised the PST. Initially, it was to support a broad range of infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and children's wading pools.

When that didn't fly, the NDP changed its story, saying the new revenue would only be used on core infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.

You could forgive voters if they felt the New Democrats were making it up as they went along. Former minister Christine Melnick's bout of forgetfulness, health issues notwithstanding, hasn't helped build confidence either. This is a party that has regularly shown it is more concerned about power than principle.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 26, 2013 A12

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Mary Agnes Welch | @mawwelch

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