Jim Flaherty's $1 billion tax on everything (except hockey gear and baby clothes) - Macleans.ca

Jim Flaherty’s $1 billion tax on everything (except hockey gear and baby clothes)

The Conservatives raise tariffs on hundreds of items


The Finance Minister explains why he’s increasing tariffs on more than a thousand items imported from 72 countries. The Canadian Press explains the details.

The impact on Canadians will likely be higher prices on a wide range of goods, including imported food. Some examples include an increase on the tariff on bicycles to 13 per cent from 8.5 per cent; venetian blinds to 7 per cent from 3 per cent; table fans to 8 per cent from 2.5 per cent; tableware to 6.5 per cent from 3 per cent; umbrellas to 7 per cent from 5 per cent, and potato starch to 10.5 per cent from 5 per cent.

According to the government’s own calculations, the elimination of duties on sports and baby clothes will cost $76 million a year, but it will gain $333 million annually by its other measure. “They are basically giving us a dollar and taking back five. It’s a bit of a shell-game,” Moffatt said.

The Harper government expects to take in $1 billion more in revenue as a result.

If the New Democrats were proposing this, the Conservatives would almost certainly—using the same logic they’ve employed to deem the NDP’s cap-and-trade proposal a “$21-billion tax”—describe this as a $1-billion tax.

Mr. Flaherty promised in his budget speech that the Harper government would not raise taxes.


Jim Flaherty’s $1 billion tax on everything (except hockey gear and baby clothes)

  1. Speaking out of both sides of one’s mouth…. Flaherty espouses the tariff reduction on sporting goods as it will help close the Canada-U.S. price gap, yet these increases in other tariffs widens that gap five-fold.

    The net effect of this would be to encourage more cross-border shopping, not less. I have no philosophical problem with cross-border shopping, but if the stated policy goal is to encourage shopping in Canada, why would one implement policies that discourage that?

  2. Tariffs are traditionally put in place to protect local indsutry – is there any evidence this was necessary, or is it just raising revenue after increasing spending and lowering taxes?

  3. The GST replaced the old manufacturer’s tax ( a hidden tax). The RepubliCons cut the GST and are now raising money with tariffs — (basically a hidden tax). This is open government the Con way. And BTW the tariff portion built into the retail price will be subject to GST —

  4. “Mr. Flaherty promised in his budget speech that the Harper government would not raise taxes.”

    And we all know the CONservatives are such great managers of the economy. ;)

    • …and such unassailable purveyors of the truth.

  5. Wow, I feel really old now. It seems that it wasn’t too long ago that Conservatives were all about free trade and the abolishing of all tariffs. Come to think of it, I seem to recall a plucky young MP from Calgary (by way of Toronto) lecturing the other G8 countries about how free trade was the answer to all fiscal woes.

    Of course, that was in the long-ago. The world has changed drastically since the halcyon days of May 2012.

  6. Are we actually importing venetian blinds from Venice???


  7. Harper and his enablers, including Flaherty, will resort to any sleight of hand to achieve the illusion of a balanced budget by 2015, even if it means abandoning any pretense of conservative principles.

    So, be vigilant. While the little leprechaun is pointing at all the shiny baubles in his budget with his right hand, he’ll be picking your pocket with his left.

  8. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/02/06/pol-senate-reports-on-canada-us-price-differences.html

    This is how much the Canadian government cares about fellow CANADIANS, 1 Billion MORE IN TAXES!!! According to the findings in this CBC article, Senators who studied why Canadians pay more for goods than Americans concluded that they CANNOT explain why we as a country are paying higher tariffs or taxes on imported goods. How much did that one year study cost, that included 53 experts – consumer groups, manufacturers and Bank of Canada’s Mark Carney?

    The report recommended a “comprehensive review of Canadian Tariffs….with the objective of reducing the price discrepancies for certain products between Canada and the United States”

    Flaherty, spoke to reporters after the release of these recommendations and said the government ” would like to eliminate tariffs going forward.” How irresponsible and primary of him to say something so unrealistic, he should have said ” I will review this study and then after much politicking, eating, and spending more of your back breaking dollars I will tell you all about the 1 billion dollar tax increase. Oh and by the way, we might cut the taxes on Hockey equipment and baby clothes because those are life sustaining items, nevermind those groceries that keep you alive and the cars that take you to work everyday so you can support your sweet family.

    When are we tax payers, slave workers who teeter on the edge of poverty daily going to put our ipads, androids and other self consuming devices down and stand up for our future, for our Childrens future and for the future of generations to come?