A tax on bicycles, baby carriages and iPods - Macleans.ca

A tax on bicycles, baby carriages and iPods

The Conservatives give and take

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Three days ago, on April 1, the Harper government celebrated its specific tariff cuts.

Starting today, tariffs on imported baby clothing and sports equipment will be removed, bringing significant savings for Canadian businesses on these items. “Our Government is committed to supporting Canadian families,” said Minister Raitt. “This measure represents real potential savings for hardworking Canadian families and our Government strongly encourages businesses to fully pass these savings onto consumers.”

Today, Mike Moffatt reviews the Harper government’s wider tariff increases.

The tariff on these bicycles is increasing to 13 per cent from 8.5 per cent, a move that will cost Canadian cyclists between $5-million and $6-million each year. This does not include the tariffs on children’s tricycles and wagons, which are also increasing.

Beyond bicycles and tricycles, the tariff changes make it more expensive to raise a child. Nearly 90 per cent of imported baby carriages are from GPTLCs. Since few other countries produce these products, it will be nearly impossible for consumers to avoid a tariff that is increasing to 8 per cent from 5 per cent, costing consumers more than $1-million a year. The added costs continue once the child enters school, as the tariff on plastic school supplies for GPTLCs (who make up 61 per cent of the import market) is increasing to 6.5 per cent from 3 per cent, a move costing consumers roughly $1.3-million a year. These tariff increases erode much of the savings from the reduced tariffs on baby clothes.

Later, Mike discovered a tariff increase on iPods. James Moore will no doubt be profoundly saddened by this news.

See previously: A tax on imported blankets and The Commons: Ted Menzies challenges everyone to find a tax increase in the budget