TIGNISH — Opposition Energy critic Hal Perry says the provincial government could help offset an 11.2 per cent increase in energy rates this coming spring by agreeing to rebate Islanders their harmonized sales tax on electricity.
The HST is set to take affect April 1.
“As the lowest paid province in the country, Islanders cannot afford any further increases to the cost of living,” Perry insisted.
He repeated calls he made during the fall sitting of the legislature for Energy Minister Wes Sheridan to apply excess fees Maritime Electric collected from Islanders over the past two years to a rebate.
“Maritime Electric has indicated this $21 million in overcharges is to be returned to ratepayers,” said Perry. “If this is the case, then it is Sheridan’s responsibility to ensure these funds actually go back to Islanders and a rebate on the HST is an excellent way to do so.”
Arguing government had promised electricity would be HST-exempt, he said the rebate would be a means for government to maintain its commitment.