Friday, March 30, 2007

The Tories finally get a good issue

Though I am a big supporter of the Graham government, it is far from perfect. It has gone back on some promises, such as to not appoint a political person as NB rep to Ottawa, the HST rebate, etc. It has implemented some bad policy such as Business New Brunswick cuts and a major hike to the small business tax. However, overall, it has done a very good job in my view.

I have criticized the Tory opposition a few times before because rather than go after the government on these substantive issues, they have led their attacks on fronts where there is no substantive problem but a possible hook for sensationalism.

Today they've got an good issue. They always say that people vote based on pocketbook issues, and what pocketbook issue could be closer to the hearts and mouths of New Brunswickers?

Today, opposition leader Jeannot Volpé led question period off by grilling Finance Minister Victor Boudreau on the possible increases in the cost for beer.


Anonymous said...

I have another pocketbook issue for you NBpolitico... Major frustration brewing up with the middle class on this one...

Anonymous said...

It has gone back on some promises, such as to not appoint a political person as NB rep to Ottawa, the HST rebate, etc. It has implemented some bad policy such as Business New Brunswick cuts and a major hike to the small business tax. However, overall, it has done a very good job in my view.

Hardly sounds like a ringing endorsement... maybe you should list some of the government's accomplishments so we know why you endorse it still.

nbpolitico said...

Indeed that is a serious issue that is hurting the bottom line of a lot of taxpayers, however the solution to property tax woes is a lot more complex and is fairly misunderstood.

Property Taxes are collected, in some cases, by the province and asessed by the province but it is not the province that uses the revenue. The revenue for property taxes, and the tax rates, are set by the municipalities.

If we want to address the problem of property taxes, we can't just cap assessments because you won't see any savings.

If you assessment stays the same, then your municipality will have no choice but to raise your tax rate.

Whether you pay 4% on $120,000, or 3.2% on $150,000 you still get the same tax bill of $4800.

If the the government were to cap assessment increases at 3% as the Tories suggest - and they very notably never did when the crisis began years ago - then your property tax rates would just go up hurting your pocketbook just as much.

Before we tinker with the property tax regime, which I agree needs to be fixed, the province and municipalities must first figure out a change in their respective responsbilities and/or a new revenue stream for municipalities. Otherwise you'll see the same effect.

nbpolitico said...

Anon at 3:58 - take a look at my post from back in December which listed all of the Liberal successes to that date. There have been more since then: an important mission to Alberta, cooperation agreements with Maine, review of privacy laws, launching the self-sufficiency task force which has already almost completed its work, an important mission to Washington, DC on the passport issue, movement at the US regulatory agency responsible for the LNG terminal in the St. Croix, an agreement with the federal government on Saint John Harbour clean up, the appointment of a Public Trustee, securing huge savings for New Brunswick auto insurance payers, etc, etc

This has been a VERY active government, making a lot of changes and policies. Four mistakes out of hundreds of decisions is a pretty resounding success in my mind.

scott said...

An important mission to Alberta.

Regardless of the very favourable Telegraph Journal article that ran just after Graham's visit which gave NBers the impression that contracts were on the way.

Well, as we are well aware of now, that just wasn't the case. Unlike, PEI and Nova Scotia who have received a considerable number of contracts as a result of that trade mission, New Brunswick has receive nada.

So as far as I'm concerned, if these missions, task forces and trips are not producing immediate results, then they are nothing more than "window dressing" or "red herrings" to the real problems that need to be addressed. This government has done a lot of "big talk", but to date, they can only hang their hat on the fact that they raised our taxes amongst the poor and small business, not to mention, they are now in the business og bailing out business, not attracting it. Sounds like a typical Liberal government to me...all talk.

dodger said...

I'm of the opinion all these great "successes" of Shawn and the boys are merely window dressing and payoffs for old McKenna cronies. Not much substantive I'm afraid.
And that leaves us with the lies.

Muddy River Tory said...

The only reason Broken Promise Shawn went to Alberta on an "important mission", was to see what jobs he would be eligible for after the lynch mob runs him out of this province soon.

Canuckguy said...

Boozehounds - Rise Up -- Strike
The money grabbing, tax happy Liberals have:
1. Increased income taxes
2. Increased property taxes
3. Increased booze prices
4. NB Power getting ready to ream use with double digit rate increases

All while bailing out their political liberal cronies of the credit union management to the tune of $60 million of your taxpayers money.

Enough is enough. Strike!!!. Stop buying booze. Let them feel the power of the previously quietly suffering taxpayer. For those of you who cannot go cold turkey, at least cut your purchases by half. If necessary, make a run to Quebec with a van. If enough people do this, it will have an impact.

As for me personally, I will hold out as long as possible. I already make my own wine, I can always start making my own beer.

To the barricades!!! Spread the word!!!!

God, I am so sick of the corruption of politics in this province, no matter what party is in power. Just heard that the Premier saw to it a company in his riding and who has his father on the board of directors, got a government grant. Something stinks there as well.

Anonymous said...

What's the company? I think canadians are absolutely crazy to be paying those prices for booze anyway. Brewing your own beer takes not much longer than waiting in line at the liquor store. A startup can be purchased for $50 easy. Empties are usually easily found. A beer kit costs anywhere from 10-20 dollars, plus sugar, plus water, and that's like .25 cents a beer!!

I don't agree that the credit union was cronyism, they did the same as any government would do with a financial institution. However, give away all the land, all the trees, all the soil, and turn it into highways for gas and oil and then get money to run the government from booze, cigarettes and desparate people gambling. That's not quite what 'responsible government' was supposed to mean.

Meanwhile, Irving and McCains make more money than ever, and as I've mentioned before, the wealthiest 10% of New Brunswickers make more than the wealthiest 10% of any other province. If you want to find out why the province has no money, you don't have to go far. Its an old story, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Want to get some money, try getting it from the people who can afford it.