Tax Harmonization Takes Food Off the Table

March 26, 2009

We are deeply concerned about the Ontario Government’s plans for harmonizing the PST and GST. Low income people cannot afford to lose ground as cash is taken out of their pockets for increased taxes on things like gas and electricity leaving them with less for food and other necessities.

The Social Planning Network of Ontario has been actively promoting the introduction of a $100 monthly Healthy Food Supplement for more than half a million adults on social assistance as a central part of a poverty reduction strategy for Ontario. Regrettably, the provincial budget does not include this measure.

The Province’s one-time rebate ($300 for singles) combined with a sales tax credit increase of $160 maximum may cover the tax increases in 2010 for low income people. For single adults on social assistance, however, the sales tax credit alone starting in 2011 (about $13.00 a month more) will not likely cover the harmonized tax increase on electricity, gas and other items.

Social assistance recipients cannot afford to fall further behind in their monthly living expenses. The cost of inadequate income to their physical and mental health is well-documented. More and more communities across Ontario are making the connection between food, health and poverty.

This issue will not be going away as public health and community leaders continue to join their voices for the Healthy Food Supplement in the coming months.

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For further information and comment contact:

Peter Clutterbuck, SPNO
pclutterbuck@spno.ca
Tel: (416) 653-7947 Cell: (416) 738-3228

www.povertywatchontario.ca/put-food-in-the-budget

Put Food In The Budget

3 thoughts on “Tax Harmonization Takes Food Off the Table

  1. I am On social assistance i am reeving 570 a month and i am great full for it. But when looking for a place to live i could not find a good place to live with only 350 the max i was aloud pay for rent. If u look most of the places you can find a place to live are in run down places where drugs and crime are a way of life how am i ever to get out alive so to speak.

    350 rent
    150 food
    100 bus pass to find a job

    600 total

    Lets just hope u dont have to pay hydro water or any other

    I know its hard to be in a place like this but once ur here they almost make it so u can get out.

  2. While I may not possess much in the way of “worldly goods” one thing I do have is the ability to vote.
    This tax will be hard on those who are in an already precarious position.
    I lost my job and it is definitely hard for me to support my son and myself and others who are single or with families are finding it ever increasingly hard.
    Most people are struggling to meet basic needs.
    How can they justify harmonizing these two taxes?
    When minimum wage went up ALL the prices went up.
    How do you decide what is a higher priority?…eating or housing?…housing or eating?…it’s an impossible decision to make…no one should be forced to choose either…do I pay my rent/mortgage or feed my family/myself?
    I was looking forward to that extra money…sometimes just worrying about how you are going to be able to deal daily takes a toll.
    I feel I have no pride left, no dignity.
    I am human…we all are human and this government’s complete lack of caring makes me not only ashamed but disgusted.
    I am tired of feeling like a criminal.
    Yes, I don’t have a job but I did not quit or get fired I got laid off.
    Many ppeople cannot find jobs or jobs that pay the bills. Mybe they are unable to work because of mental or physical disabilty.
    What happened to looking out for your fellow man/woman/child?
    It seems to me that eventually their “greed” will come back to haunt them.
    It’s time to do the “right” thing.
    Take care of those you are representing.

    Thank-you,
    Loretta Tweed

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