Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Oh! the ironies

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The Selinger government suffers from an embarrassment of riches, quite the feat for an administration that has pushed Manitoba deep into debt with repeat deficits, and raised taxes. Having asked an independent arbiter to devise a better way to apply what is known as the "vote tax," the NDP now has come out with more money than it would have got under its own, former formula.

The NDP never did accept the payout that was calculated on the number of votes earned in the preceding election. It was cornered into refusing the cash after the Opposition Tories turned it down, on principle -- vote taxes force taxpayers to fund political parties. The old formula would have paid out a maximum $250,000. The new scheme, which creates a bigger pot of cash for parties to share, puts $278,811 into NDP hands.

But the NDP government says it can't, in good conscience, take THAT much out of the stressed provincial coffers. This disingenuous, vacuous gesture ignores the fact that any amount it accepts digs Manitoba further into debt. An administration with integrity would have scrapped the odious vote-tax law, entirely.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 25, 2013 A16

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