The cost of providing a crucial treatment for autistic children will go up for some families when the harmonized sales tax kicks in July 1, a move that’s angered parents who say they’re already going broke to maintain the costly therapy for their kids.

Parents whose children receive publicly funded IBI therapy and those who purchase private IBI services from a registered psychologist will not be charged HST, the government said yesterday. But parents buying the treatment from a therapist that hasn’t been licensed by a provincial body will be charged another eight per cent on top of GST.

Laurie Kirby-McIntosh, whose 10-year-old son Clifford has autism, said she can’t believe parents will be taxed more when they’re already falling into debt and using up their life savings to pay for the one-on-one therapy.

“I can handle it when my son is in meltdown and he is aggressive and I know he can’t control it when he hits me,” said the 40-year-old high school teacher.

“But when the government slaps us in the face like that, it’s unconscionable.”