Thursday, August 17, 2006

Gas Tax and Surplus politics

Conviently timed surprise surplus of $243 million reported in all papers thanks almost wholly to high NB Power revenues. This should be a boost to Lord and was part of his first good news day of the campaign. However, Graham should use this to boost himself. His very optomistic plan to make New Brunswick a "have" province by 2025 centres around energy revenues. This proves that energy can make a lot of money for the province and he should be all over it.

Lord had a really good news day today with the headline in the TJ being a big "LORD HINTS AT GAS TAX CUT" next to a smaller headline saying "Premier says PUB reacted too slowly". Lord sounds like a champion for the little guy and touts how regulation will bring the stability to allow him to lower gas taxes without the oil companies just jacking the prices up and taking extra profits at the government's expense. It is actually a good point which hadn't occured to me. If oil prices stay low and Lord can justify regulation through this message then it could work well for him.

That said, he may have some trouble reconciling a gas tax cut with the comments of his finance minister who said last week that lower gas taxes meant closing roads.

There is also a good piece in the TJ talking about candidates with new electorates due to boundary changes. It will indeed be a challenge for a number of incumbents.

Also, I have a few riding changes to make due to some candidacies and lack of candidacies. I'll do those in a separate post just to make it easier to track.


Anonymous said...

Uh, doesn't high NB Power revenues simply mean people are paying more for energy? How is that different from a tax? Good news to have a surplus, bad news because people will simply say "give us our power bills back then!" A tax is a tax and all Joe Taxpayer cares about is that he has less money-the government has more. Some will be calling for rebates, some for spending, some for tax cuts, THAT is where one of the parties will attract attention.

Of course the liberals have already spent it. The 'worst to first' plan for education means spending at least 200 million on education (assuming they aren't lying, which of course is a big leap) so it'll be interesting.

I mentioned at another blog the liberal plan for rebates on hybrid cars. Perhaps a blog a day could simply mention one of the parties plans and then people can debate them-just a thought.

You cant buy a hybrid under 30 grand, and even a rebate of 5 grand only brings it down to 25, still a VERY expensive car. In other words, they are subsidizing rich people's spending. Perhaps a rebate on car enhancements like they have for homes is a better idea. Some guy with a chevy that needs a new exhaust isn't going to be happy to hear 'yeah, but now a new car will only cost you 25 grand instead of thirty!!' Not real smart thinking I don't think.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:08 PM I agree with you. First insurance companies were gouging, and are gouging, and making big profits. Now thanks to Bernard Lord he has enabled a crown corporation to do the same so that shareholders get better dividends. Who got screwed? The Joe public.

All these rate raises were justified because NPPower was losing money. Turns out that is not true. Public will of course see it as being lied to. That is no good news for Bernard Lord.