Premier Dalton McGuinty is pressuring Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak to promise he’d scrap the controversial 13 per cent HST.
The challenge came after Hudak launched repeated attacks on the premier Tuesday, fuelled by McGuinty’s own admission last week that “for families at the outset, there will be an increase in taxation.”
“The premier finally admitted that his HST was going to be a tax grab on the backs of Ontario families,” Hudak said in the Legislature’s daily question period. “Before his moment of cleansing honesty, the premier was far from forthright.”
The tax means Ontarians will pay a total of $1.8 billion more a year in taxes on electricity, natural gas, home heating oil and gasoline alone, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath added, citing party calculations based on Statistics Canada figures.
McGuinty countered that the Conservatives should promise to cancel the tax, which takes effect July 1 and is supported by the federal Conservative government.
“With so much vigour, vitality, enthusiasm and bravado, you would think that the party opposite would be firmly committed to rescinding this provision should they form the government,” McGuinty said Tuesday under repeated attacks from Hudak.
“But they are not going to.”
Hudak later said McGuinty handcuffed any future government by making it expensive to scrap the HST, forcing the province to repay $4.3 billion to the feds if it were to be rescinded before July 1, 2015.