Richard J. Brennan, Toronto Star
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is promising to remove the provincial portion of the HST from hydro and heating bills.
Hudak also said Thursday a Tory government would also remove the debt retirement charge from home hydro bills for a total savings of almost $300.
“I will fight this unfair burden and make energy more affordable for Ontario families,” he told reporters.
Hudak has made energy costs a centrepiece of his campaign for the Oct. 6 election.
The Tory promise would remove eight percentage points of the 13 per cent Harmonized Sales Tax from residential hydro bills and from residential home heating bills.
“After talking to families, party members and our unprecedented ‘Have Your Say Ontario’ survey, it’s clear that people in Ontario want relief from Dalton McGuinty’s HST and skyrocketing hydro bills,” Hudak said.
The PC leader said his promise would give a typical Ontario household $275 in immediate relief from energy bills.
The Tory measure would cost about $1.2 billion in lost tax revenue from heating and electricity.
Hudak acknowledged that he can’t scrap the HST across the board as it would mean paying back more than $4 billion given to the province by Ottawa to implement the harmonized tax.