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No measures that could boost demand for housing in Toronto Morneau

by Allison Jones, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 18, 2017 8:41 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 19, 2017 at 8:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau (right) Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa (left) and Toronto Mayor John Tory arrive for talks on the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area in Toronto on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young No measures that could boost demand for housing in Toronto: Morneau TORONTO – Three levels of government facing a red-hot housing market in the Greater Toronto Area have agreed Tuesday not to introduce any measures that would further boost demand and drive prices even higher.The federal and Ontario finance ministers and the mayor of Toronto met in the city to discuss how to tackle the housing market in the region, where the average price of detached houses rose to $1.21 million last month, up 33.4 per cent from a year ago.Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa signalled that he will unveil his housing plan before the provincial budget, set to be delivered on April 27.“In the coming week, the Ontario government will announce a suite of measures designed to increase supply and address demand,” he said. “We’ve developed a comprehensive action plan to help stabilize the housing market.”Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the three agreed that in the short term, none of the levels of government will bring in new measures for homebuyers that would boost demand.“We’re concerned that the price increases, in particular in the GTA, are putting the dream of owning a home out of reach of middle-class families,” he said. “At the same time, we know that those who own their homes are concerned that they maintain the value of those homes.”Morneau offered to share the data Ottawa is gathering on housing markets with the other two levels of government. He also said the Canada Revenue Agency will put resources toward ensuring tax compliance, but shut down a previous request from his Ontario counterpart to change the taxation of capital gains on the sale of homes that are not classified as a primary residence.“Everything we wanted to say about capital gains taxes was in our last budget and you probably saw what was in our last budget,” said Morneau, who did not include the requested changes in his budget last month.Late last year, Ontario announced it would double the rebate on its land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers to $4,000 in an effort to help them enter the housing market. Under the new rules, which took effect on Jan. 1, first-time homebuyers don’t pay any land transfer tax on the first $368,000 of a purchase price.Morneau’s latest comments suggest it’s unlikely first-time homebuyers will see any incentives in the near future.Toronto Mayor John Tory said there is a growing divide between those who can afford to live and work in the city and those who can’t.“The issue we’re facing on housing affordability affects almost everyone — those with lower incomes being priced out of the city and forced to commute hours every day to work, middle income earners struggling to afford rent and young couples looking to start a family and looking to acquire their first home and feeling an increasing sense of impossibility,” he said.Tory said he has committed to streamlining and speeding up building approvals, in particular for new affordable rental housing and he is also looking at a vacant homes tax.Sousa has spoken frequently in recent weeks about going after speculators, those who buy a home in the hope of turning a profit rather than to live in. The governor of the Bank of Canada has also said that the rate of increase in house prices in the GTA suggests the demand is being driven more by speculators than “just folks that are buying a house.”A spokeswoman for Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday a tax on non-resident speculators is one of the measures being considered. Sousa declined to clarify what that could look like. read more

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Hotelier bans customers from leaving tips at his restaurant saying the more

first_imgThe Langdale Chase Hotel in Windermere, Cumbria “A plate of expensive ingredients or more expensive bottle of wine involves no more workload or effort from the service personnel as a lesser plate of ingredients or bottle of house.”If the service charge is 15 per cent and your bill is £100 you are paying £15 service but if your bill is £200 you’re paying £30 service – when the service you received was exactly the same.”Special occasions can cost you the equivalent of another meal with these charges put onto your bill.”If the customer comes to us, I respect their loyalty for choosing us. I do not want to insult them with an added surcharge – with us what you see is what you pay.”If customers want to leave a tip, we do not take it. I do not think there is anywhere else doing this.” Langdale Chase, an independent hotel with 29 bedrooms, is located on the shores of Windermere and first opened in 1930.The hotel, which featured on ITV1 documentary The Lakes, pays its junior waiting staff £7.20 an hour – the national minimum wage – with supervisors receiving an extra £1.50 an hour.Management salaries for serving staff are around £22,000 while head chefs can expect to be paid up to £30,000.But all staff benefit from being able to live in the hotel’s newly built £1,000,000 staff quarters and receive two meals a day for the cost of £5.18 daily. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Staff at the country house hotel, which has its own restaurant and bar, are paid the national minimum wage or higher but are also provided with accommodation and food for a small daily cost.Mr Noblett, 54, who lives in nearby Bowness, said: “Establishments should not be inflicting a service charge on your bill.”These are supposed to be discretionary, but who wants the embarrassment of doing the walk of shame when querying this charge and having management approach you with the old saying ‘wasn’t everything ok?'”The customer has chosen to use our establishment over other establishments – shouldn’t we be giving them the service charge for their loyalty in using their facility, and enticing them to come back?”My main beef is with the fact that the more you spend, the more you are nailed. A hotelier believes his restaurant is the only place in the UK to stop customers from leaving tips.At The Langdale Chase Hotel in Windermere, Cumbria, service charges are not added to diners’ bills and customers are advised not to leave tips in a bid to encourage repeat custom.Thomas Noblett, the hotel’s managing director, said while he couldn’t police customers slipping staff cash directly it was not fair for diners to be automatically slapped with extra charges.center_img Why should the customer be paying the wages for the staff? They have come in to spend their well-earned moneyThomas Noblett My main beef is with the fact that the more you spend, the more you are nailedThomas Noblett And Mr Noblett said it was unfair to other customer-facing industries to expect diners to tip or even to make up low staff wages with service charges.However, he admits it is impossible to police instances of customers directly giving money to staff in their hand – but said all employees are happy with the rule.Mr Noblett, who is also a world record holding swimmer, said: “The perks we give our staff are worth about £10,000 a year to them.”We have no zero hour contracts – staff work 45 hours a week and any extra hours are banked for them to take back.”It is a good job to be in. There are so many other customer service industries where staff do not receive tips – we do not tip our mechanics, or the people who do our accounts.”Other establishments use the tips to top up staff wages, but why should the customer be paying the wages for the staff? They have come in to spend their well-earned money.”I have worked around the world in high class establishments and been fortunate enough to visit many restaurants, and I find this a very unnecessary surcharge to inflict on customers.” The Langdale Chase Hotel in Windermere, CumbriaCredit:Mercury Presslast_img read more