TORONTO—Ontario home owners, farmers and small businesses will get some relief from soaring electricity prices starting in January when the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax is removed from hydro bills.
The Liberal government announced the plan in the throne speech opening the fall session of the legislature, saying Ontario’s eight-per-cent slice of the HST would be taken off electricity bills, and promising additional relief for rural ratepayers.
The government says the HST reduction will save the typical Ontario household about $130 a year, and projects additional savings of about $540 a year for some rural electricity customers.
It was just nine months ago that Ontario scrapped the Clean Energy Benefit, which provided a 10-per-cent reduction on all parts of electricity bills, including the HST.
Other initiatives in the throne speech include a commitment to create an additional 100,000 licensed child care spaces for children aged four and under over five years, starting in 2017.
The government also promises to put a new emphasis on math skills after half of all Grade 6 students failed to meet the provincial math standard this year, continuing a steady decline in test scores over the past five years.