Tories promise to roll back PST to 7% if elected in Manitoba
Brian Pallister heads to Brandon and Portage la Prairie for campaign announcements
The Progressive Conservative Party squeezed one last promise in before the official start of Manitoba's 2016 election campaign on Wednesday.
The Tories promised to roll back the provincial sales tax from eight per cent to seven within their first term in office, if elected.
"We will leave more money on the kitchen tables of Manitobans," PC Leader Brian Pallister said. "Manitobans aren't the NDP's ATM, not anymore."
No government service is sacred and all options are on the table, he said.
"We are committed to doing a complete performance review of the government to find overlap, find waste, find duplication. This is an exercise the NDP have never undertaken."
Asked if he would look to make up the lost revenue by raising other taxes, Pallister said he wouldn't rule it out.
"I won't make that commitment but I will speak tomorrow about major commitments in respect of other taxes," he said.
The announcement was made at 10 a.m. on key NDP turf — the St. Boniface neighbourhood, which is the home constituency of NDP Leader Greg Selinger.
At the time, Selinger was at the legislative building, preparing to ask Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon to call the April 19 election.
"This is just one way that Manitobans, who have grown tired of paying more and getting less under the Selinger NDP, will see a change for the better," Pallister said at his PST announcement.
The NDP leader promised before the 2011 election that any notion of raising the PST was "nonsense" and "ridiculous," a news release from the Tories stated, adding the NDP then broadened the PST to include home insurance and benefits at work, as well as to other goods and services in 2012.
That has taken more out of the pocket of Manitobans, the Tories said.
The NDP then increased the PST from seven per cent to eight per cent in 2013.
That move rattled Selinger's own party. He faced public backlash and five of his senior cabinet ministers unsuccessfully challenged his leadership.
Despite taking in more money, the provincial debt has doubled in the past eight years under the NDP, Pallister said.
After kicking off his campaign with the PST promise, Pallister will head to Brandon for an announcement at the Chilli Chutney Restaurant at 2:30 p.m., followed by a stop at 5:30 p.m. in Portage la Prairie for another announcement.