FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 23, 2009
CARP members vehemently disapprove of harmonization: CARP poll
The overwhelming majority of the 5,000-plus CARP members polled over the weekend expressed their strong objection to the HST and CARP is calling on the Ontario and BC governments to provide home energy rebates and HST credits for seniors based on income and supports the call for province wide consultations.
Eighty-five percent [85%] of the over 5,000 CARP members polled disapproved of the proposed harmonization of GST and PST. In previous polls, CARP members already indicated that they did not think that the proposed credits and rebates were enough [69%], that they did not believe business would pass on their savings [86%] and that they didn’t think it was necessarily good for the economy [58%]. In the earlier poll, 73% opposed the HST and in two months, opposition has increased to 85%.
CARP members were also asked what should be done about it. Nearly half [49%] want to overturn the harmonization process altogether and 86% want province-wide consultations or think it is a good idea.
Failing all of that, virtually all the respondents thought there should be a home energy rebate [96%] or HST credit [94%]. Two-thirds [65%] thought that the new tax on home energy costs would cause them the most hardship.
CARP surveys its members through its bi-weekly e-newsletter, CARP ActionOnline, which is sent to 70,000 opt-in subscribers. Most of the respondents are between the ages 55 – 74 and retired.
“Clearly, CARP members are very agitated about the new provincial tax burden, coming as it does, on top of watching their retirement savings devastated by the market turmoil and they want to have their say about it. Over 2,500 of the responses to the poll came in less than 24 hours,” said Susan Eng, Vice President, Advocacy of CARP.
“The opposition Tories in Ontario were no doubt relying on the same sentiments from constituents when they walked out of Question Period today. But they would do better to convince their federal counterparts to either pay for the rebate or otherwise remove the added burden from people who do not expect to benefit from the longer term economic recovery that is the purported benefit of harmonization”, added Eng.
“In addition to supporting the call for province wide consultations, CARP is calling for rebates and tax credits that will target those most adversely affected by the new provincial tax burden envisioned by harmonization. If the government can make deals with the housing construction and mutual funds industries, then it can certainly help people who can least afford to bear the brunt of the new consumer taxes”, added Eng.
CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.