April 15th, 2004
We expected the new Liberal Government of Ontario to help the poor by reducing taxes for low-income people. For example, the $4 limit below which a meal is PST-exempt could be raised to $6, to reflect some of the increased costs in the last 20 years. Considering that a healthy meal at a fast food restaurant is a little more expensive than hamburger and fries, that change would also contribute to a healthier diet.
We also expected McGuinty to maintain his most important election promise: His written and signed promise, prompted by the Ontario Taxpayers Federation, that a new Liberal Government would not raise taxes.
The reality is that, in their crave for more money, they are looking for $200 Million in new revenues by taxing meals below $4, doing exactly the opposite as they promised.
The excuse is that they will reduce the consumption of "un-healthy" fast-food. The reality is that low income people still have to eat, and some of their money will now go into government coffers.
The reality is that the fast food industry will have to make up for any decreased volume by further raising prices, or by laying off some of the very people who can barely afford their $4 meals.
The reality is that the government is more interested in providing free condoms in schools, free needles for drug addicts, and free abortions at any stage, than helping the poor find affordable food.