The Nova Scotia NDP under Darrell Dexter are that rarest of political birds: the tax-and-cut party. They are increasing consumption taxes while cutting civil servants and their perquisites.
Take their budget issued this week, which raises the harmonized sales tax two points to 15 per cent from 13 per cent, while cutting income taxes - particularly for those with very low incomes and in the $93,000 to $150,000 range - and laying off 10 per cent of the civil service.
Like many other provinces, Nova Scotia is moving away from income taxes and toward consumption taxes to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
For HST opponents in the NDP, like federal leader Jack Layton, Ontario leader Andrea Horwath and B.C. leader Carole James, this is a real challenge. One of the two provincial NDP governments are not only in favour of the HST, they are actually increasing it. [my emphasis]
It would seem that when in opposition, the party that favours more public services will oppose any taxes to pay for those services, unless those are corporate taxes. But while in government, leaders of the party haven't the same concern.
I'm fine with NDP governments facing economic realities. My objection is to any political party that opposes merely for the sake of opposing, as the BC NDP did with the carbon tax and is now doing with the proposed HST. If that's the (Carole James') NDP method of redefining itself, then the leadership should think again.
[Cross-posted at Challenging the Commonplace]