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Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks to media during the Western Premiers' conference, in Edmonton on June 27, 2019.

JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

Premier Brian Pallister says there will be no death taxes in Manitoba if his Progressive Conservatives are re-elected in the upcoming provincial election.

Pallister announced Thursday he would eliminate probate fees and the provincial sales tax on wills – saving a typical family estate more than $2,600.

“It’s been said that there are only two things you can’t avoid: death and taxes. It’s obvious the NDP believe both those things should happen at the same time,” Pallister said.

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“The PC party doesn’t believe they should happen at the same time.”

The Tories cut the provincial sales tax back to seven per cent from eight per cent as of July 1 to fulfill their biggest promise from the 2016 campaign. The premier has also signalled that tax cuts will be central to this campaign as well.

Manitobans go to the polls Sept. 10.

The Tories have already announced they would stop taxing home and rental insurance, which the former NDP started taxing in 2012.

They also promised to remove PST from costly haircuts and other personal care services. In 2012, the NDP government at the time extended the sales tax to haircuts and other services costing more than $50.

Pallister said removing PST from legal fees related to the preparation of wills could encourage more people to get one. More than half of the province doesn’t have a will, the premier said.

The former NDP government increased probate fees in 2005, Pallister said, which affected about 3,500 Manitoba families each year. Pallister pointed to comments by current opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew in October 2017 about the federal Liberal’s tax plan where Kinew mulled over “taxing people who inherit their wealth.”

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Kinew responded an NDP government wouldn’t increase probate fees.

He added the PCs are masking an austerity agenda. Kinew said there will be cuts to things people in Manitoba are really concerned about, including health care, to pay for all the PC promises.

“If he wanted to make real inroads and help people with the end-of-life journey than this government would come forward with a palliative care plan and they would invest in palliative medicine in Manitoba,” he said.

Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont said the reductions don’t amount for much money for most Manitobans who want quality jobs, health care and education.

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