NL Gazette

Finance minister defends cost-of-living measures

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • N.L. government pushing ahead on sugar-sweetened beverage tax.
  • Finance Minister Siobhan Coady urges the regional government is doing all it can within its fiscal rules to help with the rising expense of living.

On Monday, the Newfoundland and Labrador government was on the defensive as Progressive Conservative and NDP MHAs blamed its expense of living relief actions as too little, too late.

Last week, the regional government declared it would raise the minimum salary, temporarily lower the gasoline and diesel tax and submit a one-time home heating supplement for families with a net gain of $150,000 or less.

“These are extraordinary steps for extraordinary times, and, you know, I realize that people want us to do more. This is what we can do today,” said Finance Minister Siobhan Coady.

Worries about the expense of living were front and center during the spring sitting of the House of Assembly as fuel prices skyrocketed to record heights, inflation rose, and many struggled to warm their homes and afford meals.

Read more: Words aren’t enough to stop hate crimes in N.L.

On Monday, the Newfoundland and Labrador government was on the defensive as Progressive Conservative and NDP MHAs blamed its expense of living relief actions as too little, too late

Coady and Premier Andrew Furey have pressed that lowering the local gas and diesel surcharge could result in the federal government introducing more taxes because the carbon tax is applied in this province. 

Furey has said he consulted the matter with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau while he was in St. John’s for the royal visit.

“The premier had a chance to talk with the prime minister and was given, you know, given the confidence that the backstop, which we were worried about the carbon tax, would not be set,” Coady said Monday.

The regional government intends to shave seven cents off the local tax of 14.5 cents per liter of gasoline and 16.5 cents per liter of diesel till Jan. 1. Coady said she expects the tax deductions will pass in the House of Assembly this week.

Source – cbc.ca

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