For Immediate Release
20 October, 2021
Interim NDP Leader, James Dinn, expressed frustration over the liberal government’s continued attack on those trying to make ends meet. Dinn says the sugar tax introduced in the House of Assembly ignores current research and shows there is no understanding of what life is like for everyday people in this province.
“If you want to have a healthier population – increase the minimum wage and give people control and choice in their lives,” said Dinn. “Using BC as an example, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives estimates reducing poverty for the lowest earners can save healthcare budgets over 6%. In NL that would mean $198M. To have a healthier society, individuals need to have the means to make healthy decisions, and that starts by implementing a living wage.”
The NL NDP Caucus sees the policy approach by the Liberal Government as a cheap cash grab without the empathy to realize that it makes life worse for those who earn less. Dinn is concerned that this government will continue to force individuals to consider leaving the province for somewhere that treats individuals with respect.
“They’re cutting education, cutting healthcare, they have no plan to attract or retain health professionals, and electricity prices are set to increase. By taxing for the sake of taxation with no effective outcome, and going full steam ahead on Moya Green’s austerity plan – doesn’t really say ‘this is the place to live,’”
“This tax does nothing to address the root causes of poverty,” Dinn said today. “The Liberals have said this tax is about achieving better health outcomes by encouraging residents to make better beverage choices. If you do not have the income to make healthier choices, you do not have a real choice.
“If this legislation is about achieving healthier outcomes, if government is truly concerned about encouraging healthier food choices, if this legislation is about reducing the stress on our healthcare system, then begin by boldly addressing the poverty that contributes to household food insecurity and a lower diet quality.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or firstname.lastname@example.org