According to a new online poll commissioned by the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation (CTF), 78 per cent of respondents were in opposition to a move that was recently announced by Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government that will see Provincial Sales Tax (PST) charged on all insurance premiums.
Insightrix, the market research company that carried out the poll, surveyed 802 people from different demographics across the province between July 12 and 14.
Though on one level, the move makes sense for the government as an additional source of revenue, CTF's prairie region director Todd McKay speaks for many when he argues otherwise.
"It's bad for people, it's bad for businesses. But it's also really bad for the government," said MacKay. "If people don't have the means to take care of themselves when things get tough, usually the buck comes back to the provincial government."
McKay's argument also focused on the inescapable reality that Saskatchewan is a farming-dominated province, where the livelihood on many depends not only on how crops perform, but how feasible it is for them to be insured. With drought conditions affecting much of the province right now, it's entirely possible that the upcoming months could be a pivotal time for crop insurance.
"Wait until next spring when farmers get the new quotes for their crop insurance bills and they spike up by $6,000, $12,000, $20,000—that's going to make a big impact," MacKay said. "We're all all praying for rain and hoping that we get some help on that. But boy, I hope a lot of guys have crop insurance. Making it harder for them to buy crop insurance is only going to make the (agriculture) minister's phone ring off the hook if we have a wreck."