New Brunswick — Another step toward equality of the sexes occurred last week with the announcement that women across the country will no longer have to pay the GST on necessary feminine hygiene products as of July 1.
Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver finally threw up his hands in surrender to NDP haranguing and the red rage behind the more than 80,000 signatures gathered from those opposed to this oppressive taxation.
“This is wonderful news,” said Sheila Burgess, a sales associate at Shoppers Drug Mart. “It’s not like we have a choice whether we want to buy these things. I’d certainly rather spend the money on something I want, like booze.”
Many New Brunswick women have expressed suspicion, saying this tax break sounds too good to be too — and it turns out it is; the Gallant government plans to replace the tampon tax across the province with a new levy on confections containing an extremely high refined sugar content. Treats like chocolate, ice cream and gummies will now be subject to higher taxation under the HST.
Since New Brunswick has a “harmonized” sales tax, it allows for much more creative taxation than would be available to provincial governments who do not play this type of shell game. One federal tax disappears, while another provincial tax pops up to replace it; as we learned from the Godfather films, the mob always gets its moulah.
It seems Finance Minister Roger Melanson had a heads up that the tampon tax would be nixed, and didn’t like where it potentially placed the province’s bottom line.
“You have to understand,” said Melanson, uncomfortably clearing his throat and turning a shade of chartreuse, “feminine hygiene products are huge economic generators, not just in terms of taxation, but the economy in general. We couldn’t just let this go down without finding a suitable and sustainable alternative. It’s simple economics, really. After taking care of the need, we had to find out what the customer wants, and go after that.”