Idea alert

Jack Layton pitches tax relief.

The federal NDP wants Ottawa to scrap the federal portion of sales taxes on home heating: The 5 percentage points levied by the Goods and Services Tax or the federal portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax applied in many provinces. The NDP estimates it would cost Ottawa $700-million in foregone revenue.

Mr. Layton’s proposal also twists the political knife, though, blaming the rise in home heating costs on the introduction of the HST in Ontario and B.C. The new tax combines the GST and provincial sales tax but also means a sales tax hike for consumers because it is charged on many products which didn’t incur PST before.

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