POLITICS
07/16/2019 10:28 EDT | Updated 07/16/2019 10:31 EDT

Manitoba Tories Target Expensive Haircuts As Part Of Re-Election Bid

MLA Rochelle Squires says the move will make life more affordable for women.

Darryl Dyck/CP
Manitoba MLA Rochelle Squires speaks in Vancouver on Nov. 3, 2017.

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s governing Progressive Conservatives are pledging to remove the provincial sales tax from haircuts if re-elected in the fall.

Rochelle Squires, MLA for Riel, made the promise Monday, saying the tax on haircuts and other personal care services disproportionately affect women’s expenses.

In 2012, the former NDP government extended the sales tax to haircuts and other services costing more than $50.

The Tories say there will be annual savings of about $46 for a customer who gets a $110 wash, cut and colour six times a year.

‘NDP haircut tax’

A $74 haircut and straight blade shave would see more than $5 in savings each visit.

It follows a similar announcement earlier this month to remove the provincial sales tax on home and renters’ insurance, which the NDP also implemented in 2012.

Manitobans go to the polls Sept. 10.

“This tax benefit is one more way we are making life more affordable, particularly for women,” Squires said in a news release.

“This tax grab by the NDP was discriminatory because it mainly affected the services women use, while most men’s haircuts are less than the $50 threshold that was in place.”

She added it will also remove administrative burdens for small businesses such as salons.

Premier Brian Pallister had already signalled that tax cuts would be central to the campaign.

The Tories cut the provincial sales tax rate back to seven per cent from eight per cent as of July 1, fulfilling their biggest promise from the 2016 campaign.

“Manitobans wanting a hair cut shouldn’t have to pay an NDP haircut tax to do so,” Pallister said in a news release.

Watch: Manitoba premier concerned about Quebec’s religious symbols law