30 April 2010

HST in Ontario

I had a brief scare today when I glimpsed an article saying the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario kicks in tomorrow, 1 May 2010.

Fortunately, I was mistaken -- the article was talking about how consumers can avoid the provincial portion of the HST for some services by pre-paying prior to 1 May 2010.

Ontario's cash-grab is still slated for 1 July 2010. Whew. Small favours, eh?

One of the more ludicrous arguments I've heard in favour of the HST is that the billions of dollars businesses will save will be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices. Call me cynical, but I marvel at the amount of pixie dust I'd have to inhale to believe that.

If the past decade and more has shown me anything, it's that the trickle-down theory of wealth is a semi-trailer load of insert-scatological-epithet-here for the vast majority of consumers.

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer -- an overworked phrase, but it's overworked because it's still true.

Perhaps politicians should give the trickle-up theory a turn. It couldn't do much worse.

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