Friday, January 26, 2007

Banking on Jack Layton

Here's the unofficial motto of the NDP: When in doubt attack the banks.

And so no one should be surprised that NDP leader Jack Layton, his party floundering in the polls, has come out flailing against the big, bad banks.

More specifically Layton wants to ban banks from charging fees when customers use automatic teller machines.

"We believe it's gouging when a person comes up and they want $40 or $60 of their cash and a bank is charging them $1.50 or $2, $2.50," Layton said. "That's a rate of payment which is very, very high -- and unfair."

And Layton points out that "ordinary families work hard for their money. If they want to take a few dollars out to go to the grocery store, the banks shouldn't be keeping $1.50 or $2 or any of that money."

Great stuff if you're into populist left-wing rhetoric.

But let's face it, when it comes to gouging consumers, banks and their ATM fees are small potatoes.

If Jack Layton really wants to protect "ordinary families" he ought to be railing against the biggest gouger of them all: the government.

After all, it's governments that hits you with the GST and PST every time you make a purchase; here in Ontario that amounts to 15 percent of the bill.

And then there's the outrageous government fee know as "income tax", that devours a large chunk of the take home of Canadian families.

At least I can choose whether or not to use an ATM; but I have no choice when it comes to taxes.


Flavrflav said...


One small correction. Thanks to the Harper GST reduction initiative, the government only gouges you 14% each time you make a purchase.

The whole ATM "gouging" argument is absurd. In todays "cashless society", families don't even need to access ATM machines, as debit terminals have become ubiquitous.

Layton, thou art truly desperate.

hoodwinked said...

To bag a majority government through conservative-minded voter support is easy as 1-2-3:
1)repeal the Ottawa Charter and ban any related regulatory influences on all public health & safety policies
2)ban public sector unions
3)ban income tax vote FOR any party will continue to await announcement of such Conservative campaign planks...

Money Bags4Me said...

And lets not forget why we have the highest price for dairy products in the free world. Its the government legislated supply management system.

What about that Jack? Gouging families who want to provide good nutrition for their kids.
I guess the answer is -let them drink Coke.

Matt said...

Hoodwinked has some high standards. I'd settle for a 50% reduction in the income tax.

Miles Lunn said...

Certainly a very dumb policy, although I think the decline in NDP support has more to do with socialists hating Stephen Harper and wanting to do everything to oust him than opposition to Layton. A good 15-20% buy into the socialist rhetoric and another 10-15% are sympathetic to socialist ideals. Even though socialism has been a disaster, its idea of equality and social justice appeals to many even though it never actually succeeds at achieving either

BBS said...

I caught Layton's newsclip on this and thought it was great.

He made a show of attempting to withdraw money from a CIBC ATM. Pause, camera shows warning of $1.50 service charge, Layton spouts and then - wait for it - CHOOSES NO!

Thanks Jack for demonstrating that consumers have a choice.

Brian said...

A little de-regulation in the banking sector should solve Jack's problem, eventually anyway. Really, they screw us over because their is no real competition.

Think Jack would go for opening up the banking business?

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BBS said...

The report I saw was on A-Channel. I looked around, but couldn't find the actual video. Did find this from CityTV though:

Service Fee Warning

Jack exercises his choice

Jack had the answer under his fingertips all along.

Anonymous said...

If Layton really wants to target companies that gouge, he needs to go after all of those textbook companies that charge over $100.00 to university students for a paperbound textbook, or the same textbook companies who jack their prices up for school boards because they know they'll pay up....because students depend on textbooks.