HST debate in Ontario catches fire

NDP opposition in Ontario is aiming at introducing a private member’s bill to take out the HST from home heating bills, with the support of the PC Party.

However, this focus seems to be contradicting with the interests of NDP’s own constituents and benefits from an unreasonable set of precedents that distort the basis of Parliament. Apparently, it has been a binding tradition of the British parliamentary system that tax matters are confidence bills since tax is the basis of finance and the budget.

According to Speaker Gary Carr, private member’s bills that slash taxes are in turn, a peculiar situation that provides a backdoor to smaller government. Marleau and Montpetit’s House of Commons Practice and Procedure states on page 898:

“With respect to the raising of revenue, a private member cannot introduce bills which impose taxes. The power to initiate taxation rests solely with the government and any legislation which seeks an increase in taxation must be preceded by a ways and means motion. Only a minister can bring in a ways and means motion. However, private members’ bills which reduce taxes, reduce the incidence of a tax, or impose or increase an exemption from taxation are acceptable.”

During a meeting with New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath, McGuinty sacked the proposal of slashing eight per cent of HST from home heating bills.

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