Monday, May 16, 2005


Time warp. Is it 1993?

Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien's pollster Michael Marzolini believes he has the magic bullet that could return the Liberals to power - scrap the GST. Stop me if you have heard this before. In 1993, the Liberals promised to abolish the then unpopular tax. In fact, Shelia Copps briefly resigned her Hamilton seat over the broken promise.

Marzolini doesn't actually believe that the government will take his advice and act on it. He does, however, advocate a gradual reduction of the GST of one percentage point a year, which would be worth around $6 billion. The gradual lowering of the GST is a policy Mr. Marzolini pushed when he was part of Mr. Chretien's inner election circle, but Liberal economic advisers rejected the idea.

The GST was one of the few good ideas brought to Canadians by Brian Mulroney and should remain. Any taxation changes should occur on personal income tax. It is time for the government to seriously raise the basic personal exemption (taking low-income Canadians off the tax roll) and even consider moving to a flat tax rate .(this isn't necessarily a rapid, right-wing policy if the rate is set high enough)

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