Prince Edward Islanders are receiving their first-ever tax credits for the HST this week, and critics are saying they are coming up far short of what's required for those on low incomes.
The credits are worth between $100 and $200, which brings a quarterly payment of $25 to $50. Critics contend that won't be enough to offset the increase in the cost of living from the new tax.
How does the HST affect you?
You can find out more about the P.E.I.'s new harmonized sales tax in this in-depth feature from CBC News, which includes a calculator to estimate your personal cost or saving from the tax.
"It's going to be woefully inadequate for sure for families that are already struggling in terms of trying to meet their basic needs," said Jennifer Taylor of the P.E.I. Food Security Network.
"Anything's going to help of course. But in terms of actually making a dent in what we need to do, it's not going to come close."
While HST leaves the cost of groceries largely unaffected, and even lowers prices slightly for items such as cleaning supplies, Taylor said food budgets are being squeezed because Islanders are paying considerably more for rent, gas, electricity and clothing.
The P.E.I. credits are issued by the federal government, and are being combined with GST credit payments. Only households making less than $60,000 a year can qualify.
For most sales tax rebate recipients, the federal portion of the cheque will be significantly larger than the provincial portion.