From a good friend and reader, I received a link this morning to a story that ran in The Star this week. Here’s an excerpt:
Tax collectors get $45K severance, keep jobs ( link embedded)
More than 1,250 Ontario tax collectors will get a severance package worth up to $45,000 each despite the fact they won’t be losing their jobs.
The move, part of the province’s plan to harmonize sales taxes with Ottawa, will see the provincial collectors become federal employees, triggering a payout critics said amounted to tens of thousands of dollars to change business cards.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Revenue quietly announced the buyouts for more than 1,250 provincial collectors who will now work for Ottawa. It says the province had signed an agreement with the Canada Revenue Agency outlining “opportunities with the CRA for all Ontario government employees impacted by harmonization.”
“Essentially all employees will be made offers of employment to a CRA office in the same geographic location,” the release said.
The plan to harmonize sales taxes was introduced in Ontario’s budget last March, when Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said jobs in the public sector would be cut by five per cent over the next three years as the government struggled with a record deficit.
Duncan said about 2,000 Revenue Ministry workers would become federal employees under a deal with Ottawa, while the remaining 1,400 jobs would be phased out over the three-year period through attrition and other measures.
What the move really amounts to is giving a hefty six-month severance package to bureaucrats to simply change job titles, said Progressive Conservative critic Ted Arnott.
“Apparently, they’ll continue to work in the same office, they’re not going to miss a day of work, and they’re being paid up to $45,000 to change their business cards,” Arnott said in the legislature.
Well, isn’t that something? That works out to a whopping maximum of $ 56,250,000.00 !!! Quite a hit to the provincial coffers, I would say…. and definitely not a selling point for the HST .
**** Update from Bill T. – BC will not be experiencing this situation, link in the comments section below