Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 3, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
30 LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, October 3, 1973 Tax Column Liberals suggest sales tax cut to combat inflation By I.II. Abl'hK The past week's Parlia- mentdis debate on inflation produced so little public or press attention that it may now be assumed that there is little support for a price and wage control system at this time In fact, it might well be concluded that there is basic- support even from the opposi- tion parties albeit grudging, for the government's policy in this area This is not to suggest that the debate won't continue, but the line of attack to be follow- ed by Canada seems to be settled at least for the time being Indeed, the government even drew support for its approach from last weekend's Liberal party convention in Ottawa The grassroots of the governing party has never been sin about publich dilfer- ing with the politicians when there is sharp disagreement on policy, so the position taken by the party is signiiicant. particularly when there was no evident pressure from the federal leaders to gain party endorsation. Although the party's resolu- tion on inflation was debated long and vigorously, the tact that it passed the convention with overwhelming support will be comforting to Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance Minister John Turner, although the party's stand re- quires the finance minister to consider major tax reforms as I urther an11 inflation medicine Basically, the twenty-five hundred delegates told the government they supported the administration in its re- jection of universal across- the-board wage and price controls, and urged Mr. Trudeau to continue to resist the pressure of this politi- cally expedient but economic- ally unwise move Next, the party advised the government to continue and increase its ef- torts to reduce the consumer price of goods through selec- tive consumer subsidy measures such as have been recently adopted for bread and milk. The delegates added the rid e r that provincial governments should be en- couraged to take similar steps in' those fields where they have constitutional on living ac- commodations is a notable ex- ample where provincial authority supersedes the federal power. A key ingredient of the con- vention's position is that while the inflation attack is to be led by consumer subsidy, the co- rollary is that the government was warned not to take steps which would unfairly limited the production ot goods or create disincentives lor primary producers There is concern that if restrictions or controls are applied against producers, such as grain and beef farmers, they will stop producing, that food shortages will arise and that prices will skyrocket on that account. The third element in the Liberal party's position is that government must shoulder the responsibility of price rises tor those members of the community for whom infla- tion is a oneway street. The argument is that most members of the work force are in a position, through collective bargaining, to nego- tiate pay increases which affect cost of living increases, but those on low or fixed in- comes -and others depend on social allowances are crippled by price rises and can't defend themselves The government apparently accepts this view of its responsibility and has responded initially by increas- ing old age pensions and fami- ly allowances. Presumably more will be done in this area as the situation warrants. But the party delegates took one further step. They called on the government to show leadership in the war on con- sumer prices by removing Enough staff at CP hotel BANFF. (CP) -The Banff Springs Hotel won't be hiring workers foreign or Cana- dian for the next five months, hotel manager Ivor Petrak said here Now that summer is over, the hotel has enough staft to provide the service until the skiing boom next March, he said. Banff Springs, operated by CP Hotels, earlier applied to Canada Manpower tor permis- sion to import up to 150 foreign workers because it said it was impossible to fill the vacancies with Canadians The Calgary Labor Council has attacked the hotel's plan, saying it should pay better wages to Canadians instead of trying to import workers at "slave wages government taxes on necessities of life. Spe- cifically, if was recommended that the 12 per cent hidden manufacturer's sales tax be removed from home building materials and clothing, and that the provincial governments be urged to abandon their retail sales tax on those commodities. This is fertile ground for in- flation fighters Some fiscal analysts estimate that the effect of provincial and federal sales tax on many manufactured items is to increase the retail price by as much as twenty-five per cent. What is worse, because of the structure of these taxes, they increase as other costs increase. Not only do they teed inflation, they are fed by it If there were federal- provincial co-operation in this area, price increases on a selected list of manufactured items could be readily con- tained The question is whether or not such coopera- tion is possible, even on a highly selective group of ne- cessities. The need for such a program is well established but the method of implemen- tation remains clouded. If the taxes were reduced by the federal government, would some provinces just move in with increases taxes to fill the gap9 Would manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers simply adjust their prices to pick up the extra profit? How could you be sure the con- sumer is actually getting the benefit of the tax cut by enjoy- ing lower prices? Until these questions are an- swered it isn't likely the federal government will move in this area. But while the finance minister is consider- ing his options he might well consider the possibility of a federal government sales tax rebate system. Under such a plan there is no change in the tax system but the consumer receives a cheque or credit against his income tax for the estimates sales tax he's paid on buying specified goods, as an inflation subsidy. This tax re- bate been used ellectively by the Manitoba government as well as other provincial bodies. It is not particularly efficient, but what it lacks in fiscal simplicity it makes up in political appeal. (Mr. Asper is a Winnipeg lawyer) Food bill increases HARVESTS October 4, 5, and 6 Catelli's Tomato Sauce Tang Orange Crystals oz. net. wt. Nabob Regular Coffee 2 lb.net wt. .98 Canada Grade A 4 oo for Deluxe Assorted Bathroom Tissue 4 roll package Prime Ribs of Beef Ribs Seaks Monarch Dessert Topping Canada No. 1 Rutabagas 2lb.for 25 Celery Hearts Kon Tiki Slices, Cubes or Crushed Pineapple Bicks Poiski Ogorki 32fi.oz. Ken (.-Ration Cheeseburger 36oz.netwt. Puss'N Boots Dry Cat Food Rover Dog Food Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Cranberry Jelly Sunlight Pre Priced Laundry Detergent Moling Stems and Pieces Mushrooms Aliens Apple, Grape or Orange Drink lOfl.oz. 2 for 79 Grapes 3 Ib.for I i oo for I Canada No. 1 Frozen X" FROZEN FOODS Rupert Cod Fish Sticks eoi.net wt. rrozen W Carrots 4 Aunt Jemima French Toast 9oz.net wt. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO LIMIT QUANTITIES Your Local Independent Grocer 642 13th St. N. Phone 328-5742 MIHALIK'S Phone 328-5742 for FREE City Delivery On Large Orders Store Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. We stll only the nights) quality goods at the lowest possible prices. mautafr foods We reserve the right to limit quantities. SUPER SAVE FOODS BELLEVUE, ALBERTA PHONE 564-4638 NEW YORK United States consumers fighting the battle of the bulging food bill suffered another setback in September An Associated Press marketbasket survey shows the family grocery bill Oct. 1 averaged almost nine per cent more than it did March 1. On Sept. the marketbasket bill was seven per cent higher than it was six months earlier The news wasn't all bad: Pork chops and eggs kept go- ing down. But the food bill was pushed up by higher prices for milk, sugar, butter and cookies The AP checked the prices of 15 food and nonfood items in 13 U S. cities on March 1 and has rechecked them each succeeding month. On Oct. 1, AP found the total marketbasket bill was up in six cities and down in seven. In almost half the cities, the change either way was less than one per cent. But of the total number of items checked. 36 per cent cost more on Oct. 1 than they did a month earlier. Twenty- one per cent cost less, 32 per cent were unchanged; and 11 per cent were unavailable on one of the check dates. To some extent, the increases reflected the lifting of the freeze on beef prices, which were under controls from the end of March until Sept. 10 Other factors includ- ed new government regulations permitting wholesalers and retailers to raise their prices to compen- sate for increased operating costs and higher wholesale prices for basic" commodities due to worldwide demand. Government and industry experts said if people refused to buy at high prices, grocery bills would come down again, and that's what happened with pork chops and eggs They soared during early August, then started to decline because of consumer resistance. News leaks are cause for secrecy BALTIMORE (AP) At- torneys for Vice-President Spin) T. Agnew and the justice department met pnvatelv to- day with the federal judge handling the Maryland political corruption probe. The meeting apparently was held to try to halt news leaks about the investigation None ol the participants in the meeting with U.S District Court Judge Walter E. Hoffman would comment 50 years behind the times. GOT IT? GOOD FOR YOU! PHLM Palm Dairies Limited Merchandise on Sale Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 4, 5 and 6. Quantities Limited GUNS and AMMUNITION MOSSBERGPUMP SHOTGUN Gauge or 30" Barrel SPECIAL WINCHESTER RIFLE REMINGTON PUMP SHOTGUN Gauge Barrel SPECIAL 97 action PARKER HALE RIFLE SPECIAL M09 action IMPERIAL 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN SHELLS of 25 SPECIAL ...'145 SPECIAL 3.76 SHOTGUN SHELLS Gauge 4, 5, 6, of 25 .88 SPECIAL 1 Zellers County Fair Located in Zellers Shopping Centre on Mayor Magrath Drive. Telephone 328-8171. Open Daily a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday a.m. to 9 p.m.