Stroll by the Conservative Web site these days or take a gander at the talking points the Con armies are parroting around blogland and inevitably you'll read some combination of Dion and flip-flop. Speaking of flip-flops though, as gas prices skyrocket it seems appropriate to revisit Steve Harper's gas tax flip-flop.
After all, if Harper hadn't flip-flopped Canadians would be enjoying a little relief from these high gas prices right now. At least, that's what he was promising less than three years ago:
In Winnipeg on Monday, Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper said he wouldn't apply the GST to the portion of gas prices that exceeds 85 cents a litre.When he got into office though? Flip-flop time for Steve:
The move wouldn't cost taxpayers a dime, he explained, because there's no way budgets were calculated with such high prices in mind.
"These are revenues that no one foresaw even a few months ago. We are only depriving Ottawa of a massive windfall it didn't count on and that it doesn't need," Harper said in Winnipeg on Monday.
A Conservative government would also eliminate the tax-on-tax that drives many motorists crazy, he said. The federal excise tax currently rolled into pre-GST fuel prices would be made GST-exempt.
"I think the main thing is that Canadians know that their government isn't trying to gouge them at the same time they're having trouble affording the cost of filling their tank."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canadians will have to live with higher gas prices, adding his promised GST cut will be all the tax relief motorists get.Get used to it? Nice Steve. And two elections ago? Here's what he'd been saying six months earlier:
Harper said that was two elections ago, adding that promise has been supplanted by the general one-point GST cut expected in the Tories' first budget.
Harper conceded his GST cut would only make a marginal difference to Canadian motorists.
Higher gas prices appeared to be a reality in the immediate future, he said. "That's going to be something that we're going to have to get used to.
"Rather than continue to rake in record high revenues from record high oil prices, will the government simply cut gas taxes for consumers?" he asked in question period.Perhaps Steve flip-flopped because he's captive to extremist gas-gouging elements in his caucus? If so Steve, signal yes by tugging your left ear and we'll send help.
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