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No HST exemption: Minister

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan quashed any hope for an HST exemption yesterday, saying the government is already helping consumers by offering tax credits, income tax cuts and three rebate cheques as part of the harmonized sales tax package.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan quashed any hope for an HST exemption yesterday, saying the government is already helping consumers by offering tax credits, income tax cuts and three rebate cheques as part of the harmonized sales tax package.

The 13 per cent HST is a levy on consumption, not income, which gives consumers greater power over how much tax they end up paying, he argued.

“People will hopefully take advantage of conservation alternatives as well as these tax credits to help them better manage their household expenses,” Duncan said.

Seniors who qualify for the tax credit will be reimbursed quarterly starting next summer, with the first cheque arriving June 2011, finance officials said. Those cheques will also arrive on the months when they aren’t already receiving one of the two remaining HST transition cheques, Duncan added.

“People, particularly in more modest incomes, will see a steady flow of credit throughout the year, as opposed to having to wait until the end of the year to get money.”

Opposition parties have been hammering the Liberals for weeks over rising home electricity bills, saying the premier’s green energy policies, as well as July’s addition of the HST to electricity bills, are to blame.

 
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