The Manitoba government has lowered the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and will be delivering other cost-saving measures for Manitobans ahead of the provincial election in September.
“This change will put more than $300 million back on the kitchen tables of Manitobans each year. It will save a family of four approximately $500 a year and a single individual approximately $180 per year,” said the Manitoba government in a statement.
“Reducing the sales tax rate also ensures the competitiveness of Manitoba businesses and savings for those who invest in them.”
The move to reduce the PST from 8% to 7% will be the most significant saving for Manitobans, providing most of the around $350 million in total savings announced by the province.
Manitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding says he is proud of the various ways his government has helped the public, listing them prior to the PST reduction came into effect.
“We’ve increased the basic personal exemption, ended bracket creep, lowered ambulance fees and, on July 1, we will cut the PST back to seven per cent,” he said.
These new cost-saving measures will help lessen the burden of the carbon tax, which was imposed on Manitobans by the federal Liberal government earlier this year.
Manitoba is one of five provinces which launched legal challenges to the federal carbon tax plan. Until one of the challenges succeeds in court Canadians will have to deal with the added costs of nearly everything they do.
Manitoba is particularly confident about its challenge, as the province argues that it made significant efforts to reduce greenhouse gases before the carbon tax which were ignored by Ottawa.
Considering nearly all revenue from the carbon tax comes from ordinary Canadians, rather than big polluters, the consumer-focused tax cuts may counteract the unpopular carbon tax.
The Pallister government, who recently called for an election for early September, is also promising to cut the sales tax from home and renters’ insurance, among various other promises.
The Manitoba Progressive Conservatives under Pallister hold a comfortable lead over the opposition NDP in recent polls.