Mr. Speaker, on April 1, three provinces in Atlantic Canada will implement a harmonized sales tax which will simplify tax collection, provide a greater input tax credit for business and thereby stimulate the Atlantic economy.
The blended rate of 15 per cent will effectively reduce the tax rate by nearly four percentage points in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and nearly five percentage points in Newfoundland.
The harmonized sales tax will finally put an end to consumers paying tax on tax. Books will be exempt from the provincial portion of the tax, as they have always been, and books for public schools, colleges and university libraries will be tax free.
A harmonized sales tax will not only benefit Atlantic Canada; it will benefit the entire country. I sincerely hope that as other Canadian provinces realize the value of a single national sales tax system they too will sign on very quickly and then we will have a tax-