Jeremy Harrison promises to roll back PST expansion

August 29, 2017 10:42 am

Today, Jeremy Harrison, MLA for Meadow Lake, and candidate for the leadership of the Saskatchewan Party, promised to roll back the charging of PST to insurance products recently announced as a part of Budget 2017.

“Part of the role of government is to encourage responsible behaviour – be it saving for your children’s education, planning for your retirement or donating to a charity,” said Harrison. “High on that list of responsible behaviours is purchasing insurance.”

Harrison said that there have been few issues on which he had received as much feedback from the public. Much of that feedback requested that the government reconsider the decision.

“As Premier I will remove the PST from all insurance products,” said Harrison. “Many individuals use life insurance as a savings mechanism while others use it as a way to transition their small business from one generation to the next. Insurance is often another way of saying ‘savings’ – and I believe that taxing savings is not good policy.”

Harrison also noted that the policy has particularly impacted agricultural producers.

“This measure has impacted our agricultural community to a significant degree,” said Harrison. “Many producers expect to see thousands, if not tens of thousands, in increased insurance costs for Crop Insurance for instance.”

Harrison acknowledged his initial support for the measure as a member of the Cabinet, but said he had reconsidered based on feedback received from those impacted. He also underscored his continuing commitment to returning to balance within 3 years and will be putting forward a fully costed plan.

Harrison had earlier committed to sweeping changes to provincial ethics rules

“Saskatchewan is a national leader in growth, and it should also be a national leader in transparency and ethics rules,” said Harrison. “Today, I am proud to lay out my plan to bring more accountability to politics and government in Saskatchewan.”

Harrison laid out his Ten Point Plan to bring greater transparency and accountability to Saskatchewan government and politics, including his commitment to modernize the provincial Members’ Conflict of Interest Act, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Lobbyists Act, and to enhance other public disclosure rules, many of which currently lag behind those found in other provinces.

“When confronted by a potential conflict, I will ask more than ‘is it legal?’, I will ask, ‘is it right?’,” said Harrison. “The people of Saskatchewan should rightfully expect this from their elected officials.”

Harrison also announced his policy proposal to divest the Global Transportation Hub (GTH), as soon as feasibly possible, as well as to end the government’s involvement in commercial land development, permanently.

“Land development is not a core competency of government and inevitably it leads to questions of conflict of interest,” said Harrison. “Cabinet will ultimately have a final say based on recommendations from the professional, non-partisan public service, but Ministers of the Crown will not be directly involved in these questions going forward.”