Ontario ups HST rebate pressure

There will be no rebate cheques of up to $1,000 to offset the newharmonized sales tax without Ottawa’s stamp of approval, warns OntarioFinance Minister Dwight Duncan.

There will be no rebate cheques of up to $1,000 to offset the new harmonized sales tax without Ottawa’s stamp of approval, warns Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.

Stepping up pressure on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s minority government to introduce tax legislation — and upon federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to support it —the province is appealing to Ontarians’ pocketbooks.

“A vote against that (measure) would effectively take $4 billion out of the pockets of Ontarians,” Duncan said Thursday.

That’s because most of the $4.3 billion Ottawa has promised Queen’s Park — in return for blending the eight per cent provincial sales tax with the five per cent federal GST — is for consumer rebates.

But the accord signed last March by the two governments is “subject to the requisite legislative approvals” in both the Ontario Legislature and the Commons.

“Without federal legislation, Ontario won’t see a dime of the transition funding to implement the HST,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who urged Premier Dalton McGuinty to scrap the tax if it fails to get through the Commons.

 
 
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