January 25, 2017
For Immediate Release

NL Records the Steepest Rise in the Cost of Living in Canada, A Direct Consequence of Ball Liberal Tax Increases

Keith Hutchings, Official Opposition Critic for Finance, said, “As a direct consequence of tax increases imposed by the Ball Liberals in their 2016 Budget, Newfoundland and Labrador has recorded the steepest rise in the cost of living of any province in Canada, according to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada.”

“The Ball Liberals smothered our families with simultaneous increases in the HST, tax on insurance and tax on gasoline, which doubled overnight,” said Hutchings. “On top of that were other tax hikes and fee increases. During our filibuster in the House of Assembly, we continuously warned the Liberals that their approach would take a huge toll on consumer spending of the average family, and the statistics have proven we were right. Families, small businesses and our overall economy are suffering from being crushed by an enormous tax burden that many cannot bear.”

“The Consumer Price Index estimates changes in the cost of living over time once taxes are applied to the goods people buy. As StatsCan has reported this week, this province’s CPI rose by 4.1 per cent from December 2015 to December 2016, the steepest leap in the country,” he said. “This is certainly not the kind of leap the Liberals promised.”

“With so many tax hikes for necessities families cannot do without, their income dollar continues to shrink. Discretionary spending is no longer available to many families and that erosion of spending power is compounding, and hurting our economy – an economy that the Liberals have no plan to drive economic activity and investment in,” said Hutchings.

“The CPI is not just a statistic. It represents real pain that families are suffering. It represents family budgets that are stretched to the breaking point and not meeting their needs. As consumer spending power shrinks, it is making our economy constrict and head in the wrong direction. Without a sound strategic economic plan, the Liberals continue to drive our economy south, with growth and prosperity not high on Premier’s Ball achievement list.”

“And sadly, the Liberals are not even listening to the families who have been telling them this past year that they are suffering and need a new approach – a way forward out of a dismal Budget 2016 and a government that compounds the problem by discouraging investment with negativity and cynicism toward our province’s potential,” said Hutchings.

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Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, [email protected]