01 December 2009

Finally, a correct, unequivocal decision.

From Michael Ignatieff, no less.

The man, and the Liberal Party, is on record for supporting a harmonized sales tax; but as demonstrated with other issues in the recent past, support for policy x has been no guarantee that Ignatieff wouldn't change his mind about policy x and thus signal a change in the party's support for it.

This time, finally, Ignatieff has made the correct decision.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said on Tuesday that his party will support a Conservative bill that would allow provinces to harmonize the provincial sales tax and federal GST on products and services.

"Our party for 15 years has supported sales tax harmonization...." Ignatieff told reporters. "We will support this legislation in Parliament."

Ignatieff added that it would not be a free vote.

...Ignatieff had previously said that if the Liberals formed a government, they would not cancel HST agreements signed with the provinces. But it had been unclear whether they would support this proposed federal bill.

It's the right decision in terms of policy, but for the Liberals the more important point is that it's the right decision in terms of ending (I hope) the waffling and fence-sitting.

Of course, the more time that passes between an Ignatieff decision and the consequences of that decision - in this case, the actual Parliamentary vote -, the less confidence one might have that Ignatieff won't, again, change his mind.

As for the National Citizens Coalition estimate that "the HST will cost the average taxpayer an additional $800 to $1,000 annually," average in this case is meaningless.

First, as the wealth of the few(er) increases to bloating proportions, the mean average makes it appear that we're all doing better. Second, over the past decade and more, the income of the average median household has either remained static or fallen. Ergo: there are fewer taxpayers.

ETA: In case you missed it, I support the HST, qualifiedly.

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