Federal Liberals don’t rule out GST hike

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OTTAWA – The new Liberal government is not shutting the door on the idea of raising the GST to boost revenue.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau was asked directly today whether he has considered raising the goods and services tax.

In his reply, Morneau says it’s necessary to go through the pre-budget process in order to give Canadians a sense of what they should expect over the next five years.

He adds that at this stage he’s not considering any tax issues that weren’t included in the Liberal campaign platform.

The previous Conservative government lowered the GST by two percentage points during its decade in office — a move that eliminated about $14 billion in annual revenues.

The Liberals have already backed away from their election vow to cap annual deficits at $10 billion over the next two years, blaming the sluggish economy and a weaker-than-expected fiscal situation inherited from the Tories.

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