Today the Tories announced a cut in GST. I think this is a brilliant economic and political move. It is a tangible benefit that people will be able to tangibly benefit from. My prediction is that these types of announcements will continue: look for Harper to take the ease off of the gas pumps soon.
The only thing I worry about is that it is forgotten come poll time. Then again, if the Conservatives waited, it could be seen as desperate. On second thought, it is best to remind people during the debate.
Here is some of the reaction to the move.
Liberals (CBC): "Cutting the GST favours the rich, finance minister Ralph Goodale said on Thursday."
NDP: No reaction yet. But they did propose the idea in 1997.
Paul Wells: "I should point out that Harper's announcement of a GST cut from 7% to 5% over four years, unveiled this morning at a Mississauga video store, went relatively smoothly and it probably actually will win votes."
Andrew Coyne: I don't know what he thinks now. But 5 years ago, he wrote this.
Warren Kinsella: "This election just turned. I can feel it - this was policy, not politics, and it was big."
Political Staples: "This positioning plays right into the mainstream Ontario voter. Again smart."
Calgary Grit: "For what it's worth, I think this is a bad policy. You keep the administrative costs and cut revenue. But this gives Harper something he can point to as constructive policy. And it's going to be very difficult to argue against."
I just want to make one comment, and that is related to Goodale. Why do people always have to play the class card? In a sense, it is such "American-style" politics - that Conservatives are the party that favours the rich and so on. Of course the GST favours people who spend more; the more they spend, the more they save. But so what: are the Liberals saying the poor don't benefit? For poor people who don't pay income tax, the GST is one of the few taxes they do pay. In that sense, the class warfare rhetoric doesn't work. The poor do benefit.