Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty embarrasses Ontario provincial election candidate Dalton McGuinty with early tax credit

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty embarrasses Ontario provincial election candidate Dalton McGuinty with early tax credit

(Images: Jennifer K. Warren) 

The Conservatives are accusing Dalton McGuinty of making desperate political gambits after the Liberals announced that they were rolling out a tax credit earlier than planned. While the Liberals responded that they’re simply attempting to kick-start an economy in need of help, there are hints of desperation in the move (for example, the $150 million price tag that comes with implementing the tax credit early). But at this point in the election cycle it seems that McGuinty is basically damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

The Globe and Mail has more:

They Liberals said Thursday they would move the eligibility date for a proposed tax credit forward so seniors can fix their homes to make them easier to live in. The new date for the credit—which is worth up to $1,500—is now Oct. 1 instead of January 2013.

Moving the program forward is expected to cost them $150-million.

The program is contingent on re-election, so anyone who took advantage of the program in its early days would be risking absorbing the full cost of their renovations if anther party won.

We won’t deny that this all seems a little bit desperate. The move is an expensive one, and McGuinty has already shown signs that he may be starting to panic. But as the incumbent, McGuinty is in an awkward position. If the tax credit remained on schedule for 2013, Hudak would likely hammer him for moving too slowly. But by expediting the process, the PC leader gets to take the Liberal leader to task for panicked policy decisions. In other words, it appears anything McGuinty does as the premier at this point will probably be bad for what McGuinty’s trying to do as an election candidate.

But if Hudak is frustrated that McGuinty has the luxury of being able to unveil shiny new tax credits during a campaign, perhaps he’d be better off considering this: while he may not have the benefit of pointing to his successes as premier, he also doesn’t have to defend everything he’s done for the past eight years.

Liberals vow to accelerate seniors’ home renovation program [Toronto Star]
McGuinty ‘panicked’: Hudak [Toronto Sun]
Hudak slams McGuinty’s ‘panicked’ early tax credit roll-out [Globe and Mail]