Monday, September 21, 2009

How to Handle the Dreaded HST

Better get your haircut before July 2010… and then question what happens afterward. In my case that is very true – my Barber may fold up after that date. “Henry”, the owner of Henry’s Barber Shop downtown Peterborough, told me that people are not going to like the prices after that date.

So what is the issue? Well my Government in Ontario is about to initiate a new way of handling Tax on things that I buy and have to pay for. The Ontario Government is bringing in a very suspicious new Tax that is called the HST – or Harmonized Sales Tax.

We have at present the PST and GST – at 8% and 5% on most items that we buy. That makes everything that I need an additional 13% higher.

The new program will simply make it 13% in Ontario. In British Columbia it will be 12%. Both provinces now are making it happen… soon the others will follow suit.

The Government Leaders say that it will be Harmony – or Harmonious – or Happy… or it will save the next generations from all kinds of horrible things happening to them – save the school systems – save the hospital systems – yadda – yadda – yadda.

In the review of the Ontario Legislative Assembly – Question Period – the Premier certainly spoke strongly for it and suggested that the HST is the best thing since Sliced Bread or Ice Cream. Well maybe not in those words – exactly. But he is all of it! It is his baby!

What is going to happen is the few things that are not taxed with the extra 5% now will be now under additional tax levy.

But think for a minute – 8% & 5% is the same as 13%. So why get upset. Accept it… go with the flow for goodness sake… let it go… relax… it will happen whether you get upset or not.

But I can see what the folk in the Coffee Shop are upset about – the old folk that is. They don’t trust these young whipper snappers running the show down in our Legislative Assembly. When they shove this through to a new name of HST – what will they do next?

So when will the HST go from 13% to say a nice round 15%? And when will they change it to an even easier 20%? According to the coffee shop crowd it could happen.

They remember when there was no Tax. Then they remember the various and sneaky ways that the Taxes came in one by one… until it received new names and new reasoning for their existence.

They remember watching the Government being transformed from little to VERY BIG and with a Budget that staggers most people’s imagination!

It is kind of funny really. It reminds me of the feelings that I have just before surgery. There is something inside me that is hurting or not working right… and the Doctor tells me that it is for my own good that he or she take it out, patch it up and maybe replace it. My anxiety level sky rockets… my blood pressure takes off to the moon and I will not sleep right until it is all over… Sheesh – I just felt all that again!

If I lay back and take it easy – let the Doctor have his way – it will be okay. I think it will be okay. “Trust me” he says… “Trust me, I am the Doctor and you are my patient. Trust me.”

In the procedure I offer my body and very soul to this group of experts and they then can take care of my organs, replace my heart, work with my liver, understand my kidneys and love them to life, thoroughly inspect every inch of my bowels, and do all kinds of wonderful and interesting things to my physical body. Because I trust them… I submit with apprehension…

Then when the operation is over I hurt for a few days and maybe even weeks… but I know I should be better when it is over. I will be a new man!

But can the Coffee Crowd feel the same about the Politician in our Government? Not likely. Maybe it is because they are not Doctors but rather mainly Lawyers. That makes it simpler to understand – really!

So what will I do? I have bought the Hair Clippers already… just incase Henry’s Barber’s Shop goes to the death blow of HST. The fact that Henry is near 80 years old now might make his decision easier too. Why should he have to duke it out with another round of Government Changes?

I know a Better Way that the Government could bring about this change. Here goes…

Give the people over the age of 65 years old a break. Make sure that they are not charged the GST on anything. Instead of 13% they get only 8%. That is 5% off for living this long, paying all the Taxes that we have up to this point and for simply good behavior and healthy living.

That is a Good Idea!

The Government could issue all of us a “Good Idea Card” – or GIC for short. Each time we buy something we offer the sales clerk the GIC card and the Cash Register can call out, “Thank you for being such a Great Senior – Tax Exempt!”

You know it is like the Lottery Machines in most stores now… they take your ticket and the machine screams out “WINNER, WINNER!” The machines can all do that now… and it would be so good to have the Machine tell me that I was Tax Free!

For the Coffee Crowd it really hits home when they think they may not be there for coffee next week. If they die… and they will… it will now cost an additional 5% on their Funeral Costs.

And in the real world – many of this Coffee Shop Crowd have already PrePaid their Funeral Costs – which excluded the Hated GST of 5%. Upon their death the Government will get them one more time.

Wouldn’t it better to have a Machine at the Funeral Home scream out “Winner Winner…”? or “Thank you for being such a Great Senior – Tax Exempt!”

I do… and I would love to hear your thoughts on this one!!!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


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