(June 22/17) Restaurants Canada, and our coalition partners, received a huge win yesterday in the Cork the Tax campaign. The federal government had proposed a built-in annual increase (escalator) on the excise tax on alcohol. Yesterday, the Senate finance committee amended the budget to remove the escalator tax, and the Senate as a whole voted to accept those amendments, before sending it back to the House of Commons.
However, the House of Commons rejected the Senate’s amendment. It also sent a message to the Senate that it shouldn’t “infringe on the privileges of the House,” which angered the Senators who took an additional day to pass the bill without our amendment. The House of Commons has now adjourned for the summer, leaving the bill in limbo until the fall, or if Parliament is summoned back.
This is disappointing, given the significant support for repealing the escalator tax that Restaurants Canada and the coalition received from politicians of all stripes, as well as the Canadian public.
The impact is huge. The cost will be $470 million after five years, with provincial mark-ups, levies, fees, and provincial and federal sales taxes layered on top.
But we are not giving up, and will continue to work to get this escalator tax removed in next year’s budget.
See the type of impact this campaign has had. Here’s recent media coverage on this issue:
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