New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Newfoundland & Labrador are raising their HST rates. They join Nova Scotia at 15 percent, the highest level in the country.

These hikes mean that Atlantic Canadians will pay more for almost everything they buy. Prices will rise at hotels and restaurants. Motorists will be hit especially hard, as they already contend with gasoline levies apart from the HST.

Consumption tax increases can only be justified if government lowers other burdens, like the income tax. Instead, the provinces are hiking the HST to avoid putting their fiscal houses in order.

Our governments have a spending problem. Squeezing more and more money out of everyone’s pocket will not address our region’s money problems.