QUEEN’S PARK – “Today’s Statistics Canada report on inflation shows that the HST is driving up the cost of living for Ontario families”, charges NDP Finance Critic Peter Tabuns.
“Dalton McGuinty’s new tax on gas, hydro, haircuts, and everything in between is making life less affordable for Ontario families,” continued Tabuns. “Today Statistics Canada proves what everybody already suspected – that the HST is driving up prices.”
Statistics Canada released its monthly consumer price index (CPI) numbers for July. Inflation in Ontario rose 0.9 per cent between June and July 2010 and 2.9 per cent between July 2009 and July 2010. British Columbia experienced a month-to-month increase of 1.1 per cent and a year-over-year increase of 2 per cent.
”The McGuinty Liberals are driving up the costs of living, but wages aren’t keeping pace,” said Tabuns. “The HST is putting a big dent in family budgets.”
Tabuns noted that the inflation figures were significantly worse than predicted. A September 2009 TD Bank report estimated a 0.7 per cent increase in the Ontario and BC consumer price index.
“The government’s theory was that big business was going to pass their tax cuts on to consumers,” said Tabuns. “Not surprisingly they didn’t, leaving consumers with the short end of the stick.”
The report comes a day after David Murrell, an economist at the University of New Brunswick and leading author on the HST, released an economic analysis showing the HST will cost families hundreds of dollars a year.