December 6, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Re: Taxing solution (April 17). After years of spending beyond its means, while receiving record federal transfer payments and benefiting from a dynamic economy (don't forget stealing from Hydro and draining the rainy-day fund), the provincial NDP government says that increasing the PST is fair.
When will the people in this province (particularly Winnipeg) wake up and realize the NDP cannot be trusted with our money? Enough already. They have overspent during a time of record revenues and now they want more. I say no more.
Oh, and thank you for the increase of $250 to the basic personal exemption. I can apply the $30 savings to the additional $400 I am paying in PST.
Now our provincial NDP government is taking to rewriting laws that were put into place to protect the citizens of Manitoba. By current law, no changes can be made to the PST without a public referendum.
This government is so corrupt that it will rewrite laws so as to be able to take whatever PST taxes it wants. This money grab will affect every single citizen, especially the ones of lesser means, like the elderly.
Isn't the $1 billion required for infrastructure repairs the same amount Manitoba taxpayers would save by routing Bipole III down the east side of Lake Winnipeg?
Obviously, the NDP government only knows how to spend.
The lack of vision in terms of a clear-cut plan to scale back expenses and to truly balance the budget is unfortunate. It is also unfortunate that the NDP thinks that seniors (of whom I will soon be one) should no longer do their fair share of educating our young people by eliminating their need to pay the education tax portion of their property taxes each year.
These young people will some day be supporting us through their tax dollars to continue the various programs that seniors enjoy, such as OAS, CPP and the Guaranteed Income Supplement program. They will also continue to support our health-care system as we age and need those facilities.
Certain programs in a just society should be paid for by all members of society. Everyone benefits from well-educated young people, just as everyone benefits from police and fire protection where the cost is shared by everyone.
For a government to erase a deficit, ignoring any possible investment returns, its only choices are to reduce expenses or increase income, or some combination of the two.
It's difficult for a government to reduce expenses without causing deterioration in the services they provide, including the necessary ones people expect, like smooth roads, safe bridges and enjoyable parks. Hence, the government's only real option is to increase its income by increasing taxes. The fairest tax is a consumption tax (i.e. a sales tax) since it applies to everyone who makes a purchase (excluding exempt items).
People can modify their purchases to minimize a sales tax a lot more easily than modifying their income to minimize an income tax. It's interesting that Nova Scotia has a $16.4-million surplus. But Nova Scotia also has a 15 per cent harmonized sales tax, which is composed of five per cent GST and 10 per cent PST, and it applies to just about everything.
Take your pick. Would we prefer more potholes or more taxes?
Once again, the tax burden is being placed on the backs of the poor and average working people. I believe that spending by government should be reduced.
Start by amalgamating school boards and boards of trustees under one umbrella group. The decision on the mill rate for the school system should be taken out of the hands of the schools and given to the province.
Asking school boards to hold back on spending is an exercise in futility. School board budgets should be reduced, with no exceptions.
The province should not be asking to have the summer games in Winnipeg. The only ones profiting will be hotels and restaurants, and any shortfall will, once again, come out of the taxpayers' pockets.
The tax increase may look like one per cent but it is actually a 14 per cent increase in the provincial sales taxes we pay.
We seniors benefited from a good education and would want at least this much for our grandchildren -- and not exclusively on the backs of younger adults.
Does the NDP underrate our intelligence by trying to buy the votes of an increasing segment of society with this transparent ploy while slapping another percentage point on everyone's sales tax? Instead it needs to stop its flagrant overspending and using the flood as an excuse for this.
I am a pensioner living comfortably on a fixed income. But each time I get a cost-of-living increase on my company pension or CPP, it is immediately swallowed up by various tax increases imposed on us all by the province.
So I have decided that at least four times a year my wife and I will travel to Grand Forks where we will take full advantage of our $800 tax exemption each to make purchases that we would have normally made in Manitoba. When I need to purchase an item above my $800 spending limit, I can visit relatives in Alberta and give my business to them.
In answer to Gordon Fritzsche's letter April 17 letter, Shortchanging our youth, I have owned a home for 53 years and have paid education taxes for all that time.
I am now 80, and the school taxes are becoming unaffordable, because my old-age pension is only about $540 a month. Many old people lose their homes because of this overtaxing.
Does Fritzsche expect us old-timers to keep him diapered until he's 50?
Methinks that the exhumation of Richard III is in time to witness our winter of discontent.
To send a letter for consideration on our Letters page: Fill out our online form at the link above, or Email email@example.com, or Fax (204) 697-7412, or Mail Letters to the Editor, 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 3B6.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2013 A14