Friday, February 13, 2009

Bill "101"... silly at best...

I like Alan McIsaac... he's a hard working guy... he's sincere and dedicated to his constituents... and I think he wants to do more and he knows that if you want to get anything done in Government you have to make it into cabinet... so I'm thinking that he was probably bringing this private members bill forward to give him the exposure he'd need to get some attention... I'm afraid his plan backfired as there is no real support for his bill and quite frankly I don't even know how it made its way to a public Committee... businesses are furious and they are verbally bashing Government as they don’t see the distinction between what is a private members bill verses a Government led bill... now McIsaac is being "questioned" for his judgement and it just may be enough to keep him on the backbench... now had he pushed a harmonized tax he would have had a lot more business support....
Legislature committee hears pros, cons of tax-inclusive prices
The Guardian
The legislative Standing Committee on Community Affairs and Economic Development heard representations Tuesday from supporters and opponents of a proposed private member’s bill that would see all taxes included in the sticker price for goods sold on P.E.I. The line was drawn straight down the middle, with consumers on one side of the line and business on the other. Shari Robertson, speaking as a consumer, said consumers play a shell game every time they go shopping. She told MLAs that consumers have the right to know the final price of an item before they reach the cash register. Taking an item to the cash register that you thought you had enough money to pay for only to come up short because you did not calculate the taxes properly can prove embarrassing for people, she noted. Robertson said one of the reasons for the popularity of online shopping is you can see the full price of an item before you click to to buy. She questioned whether businesses were afraid to show the full price of the items they sell because it might cause some consumers to think twice before they bought things. Some of the sentiments voiced Tuesday by Robertson were echoed by Nikkie Gallant. Gallant said the changes proposed in this private member’s bill are in the best interests of the consumer. She urged the standing committee not to misinterpret the relatively small number of people speaking out in favour of the bill as a lack of support for it. Sherlyn Bevan, who appeared at the table with Gallant, said she and Gallant had done their own Internet-based poll and found there is public support for the bill. She told the committee that people want to see stickers with all taxes in because they want to know exactly what they can or cannot afford to buy. This proposed legislation would enable them to do that. Jason Wood, who has worked in retail, said the concept of inclusive pricing is not a new idea. Wood said he sees prices every day that have taxes included, a prime example being gasoline. He noted as well that the three other Atlantic provinces have all passed similar legislation although none of them have yet proclaimed the legislation. The message committee members got from business was altogether different. Spokespeople for the business community suggested the legislation would prove costly for business to implement, that those costs would likely be passed on to the consumer through higher prices and that it would be problematic. Jeanne Cruikshank, Atlantic vice-president of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, said the members of the association she represents take the concerns of their customers seriously but they’re not being told by their consumers that inclusive pricing is an issue for them. “We’re not hearing that from our customers,” Cruikshank said. She said the legislation being proposed would be costly to implement. In addition to the cost of simply managing the process, business would face increased advertising costs, it was indicated. Cruikshank noted for example that national chains operating in P.E.I. would not be able to send out the same flyers that all other provinces receive because no other province currently uses inclusive pricing. She said as well there would be problems with items that come into the province already priced because that price would not be accurate for P.E.I. Some companies might decide simply not to market some of their pre-priced items in P.E.I. Charlottetown businessman Jay MacDonald, who owns and operates one of the most prestigious heritage inns in Eastern Canada, said if the proposed bill became law it would place him and other people in the hospitality/tourism industry at a serious competitive disadvantage. MacDonald said a large number of visitors to P.E.I. research potential destinations and accommodations on the Internet before they travel and these people look at costs closely. If the costs of coming to P.E.I. appear to be higher than the competition elsewhere in the region because businesses in P.E.I. are required to posts their costs with all taxes in and their competition isn’t, some of those people may just not come here, he suggested. MacDonald told the standing committee that introducing tax inclusive pricing at a time when the tourism industry is already facing tough economic challenges would not be a positive move for P.E.I.The Island, he stressed, is already an expensive place to get to. “We don’t need another disadvantage,” MacDonald said.


Anonymous said...

Bill 101 Silly at best...Extremely Dangerous at Worst.

Does this moronic MLA have any sense that PEI is an Island?

Just because a few crazy Liberals vote to change the pricing structure on PEI does not mean that the rest of Atlantic Canada will follow suit.

Suddenly everything in PEI is priced higher than the other Atlantic Provinces. Now for sure at times even now items are priced higher on PEI. But if we suddenly at 17.7% to the price many of items will seem grossly overpriced to people who don;t live in PEI fulltime.
This is nothing but typical Bubble mentality that islanders seem to at times live by. They don't clue in that the world does not revolve around PEI. This level of complete and utter lack of understanding marketing and even the rest of world goes to show why this Government needs to go and go soon. Before they do anymore stupid things.
The fact that the Premier would not show some level of leadership and not allow this issue to go anywhere tells me even the Premier is completey lacking in one hint of Leadership or caring for Islanders.

The Premier is still out looking for more Immigrant Money so he doesn't care about PEI.

Anonymous said...

It was painful watching Chamber President Sean Casey give Alan the shaft during his submission on the private members bill on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce. Caset even referred to Allan as using a 'dog and pony show' because of his earnest props (toothpaste, etc.).

If you look closely, Allan winced as Sean dug in deeper to Allan's proposal. Painful inded.