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Old Posted Aug 19, 2009, 11:33 PM
sacrifice333 sacrifice333 is offline
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Email from Colin Hansen :: Why the HST and why now?

Just a little email from my dear friend Colin Hansen:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Hansen
Why the HST and why now?
Dear friends,

I know many of you have questions about how the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) works and why our government made the decisions it did. I would like to address some of the questions I have been receiving from you.

The leading economists and think tanks tell us that the introduction of the HST is the single biggest thing we can do to improve our economy by making our businesses more competitive and encouraging billions in new investment. This will result in higher productivity, higher wages and lower consumer costs.

We were elected with a clear mandate to build a strong economy for British Columbians. This decision, while sudden and controversial, helps accomplish that.

Question: What is the HST and why is it a good thing?

Today, provincial sales tax (PST) is applied at every step in supplying a good or a service that helps you in your daily living. That means that you are paying an embedded PST whether you are buying a head of lettuce or whether you are shopping at the lumber yard for 2X4s to build a new fence.

For example, a trucking company that moves that head of lettuce or those 2X4s to the store pays PST on equipment it uses to run that business. So when that company buys new tires for its fleet of trucks they are charged PST. Those costs are added to the final price of the lettuce or 2X4s. So when you, the consumer, purchase the 2X4s at a lumber yard or lettuce at a restaurant you are actually paying a hidden, embedded cost of the PST that the trucking company must recover. That, of course, is on top of the 7 per cent PST you pay on the final product.

Remember, that embedded PST is actually charged through the entire life of that 2X4, from the energy costs used to power a sawmill to the trucker who paid PST on parts to maintain his vehicle. Under a value-added tax system (VAT) – such as what we are moving towards with the HST – companies are refunded the PST on items they buy to carry on their business.

There is an estimated $1.9 billion of PST per year that is embedded in the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer. With a value-added tax system (VAT) goods become less expensive to produce, and those savings are passed on to consumers. For example, when the three Atlantic Provinces adopted a HST, consumer prices fell, according to a 2007 study by University of Toronto professor Michael Smart.

The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is more commonly known globally as a “value-added tax” (VAT) and Canada is one of the last countries in the world to fully adopt a VAT system. Over 130 countries already have shifted to a VAT system including 29 of 30 OECD countries. Countries that have not embraced a VAT tax system have been shown to have higher prices (before VAT) at the domestic consumer level and higher prices at the export level.

In B.C., the biggest driver of our standard of living is our export markets. There is no other measure that would make our export markets more competitive and, as a result, create jobs in B.C., than our move to the same kind of VAT system that other countries have already embraced.

Finally, the existing PST is a major burden on new investment. By implementing the HST, British Columbia will lower the tax on new investments by over 40 per cent, thereby lowering the burden on investment to slightly below the national average. Economic experts have repeatedly told us that we must address our lagging levels of productivity. This is the most important measure we can take to address that issue, which will make our companies more competitive and allow them to create more jobs.

Question: Why is it so urgent that B.C. move to an HST today?

Since the late 1990s, both federal Liberal and Conservative governments have been pushing provinces to join the HST system adopted by Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland in 1997. Quebec had already set up a comparable value-added tax system a few years earlier.

In late May, in view of Ontario’s decision adopt the HST, B.C. had to re-evaluate its previous opposition to signing on to the HST. Experts were quick to point out British Columbia’s economy was facing a new and significant economic disadvantage at a time when the global economy would be expected to be heading into recovery mode.

We had to ask ourselves the hard question: Was British Columbia a jurisdiction that wanted to compete to attract investment and job-creation through lower costs and higher productivity? If the answer was YES then implementing the HST was the most direct and most effective way to do that.

Current estimates are that the HST will allow our job-creating industries to avoid passing onto consumers an estimated $1.9 billion annually in embedded costs.

In the construction sector there is $880 million that they will not have to build into the prices that consumers will ultimately have to pay.

In manufacturing, it’s $140 million – that means that our export industries will be more competitive when they are trying to compete with products from the other 130 countries that already have a VAT system.

In transportation, it’s $210 million – that means that every product, from lettuce to paper, will be less expensive that it otherwise would have been.

In the forestry sector it will save $140 million – which means that when it comes to selling to countries like China or Japan, we can be more competitive in competing with the Scandinavian countries which have had a VAT system for many years.

Mining and oil and gas will save $80 million, which will put us on a level playing field with Alberta.

These industries are the cornerstone of job creation in every region of our province. These savings are vitally important in ensuring that our companies can maintain their competitiveness and hire more British Columbians. It’s important to remember that when our resource industries are strong they support our other community industries such as retail and the service sector.

By moving to a single tax system we eliminate $150 million a year in compliance costs placed on every business to administer two parallel tax systems. Government itself will save $30 million in reduced compliance costs, which will go directly back into programs for families.

The $1.6 billion contribution from the federal government will go a long way to help protect the core health, education and social services people depend on while we still maintain the lowest personal, small business and corporate taxes in Canada.

Question: But doesn’t this mean more taxes for the average consumer?

There is no denying that in some cases HST will apply where previously the PST did not. But the long term benefits of lower consumer prices and higher wages will far outweigh those impacts.

To help low-income British Columbians, a B.C. HST Credit of $230 will go to individuals with incomes up to $20,000 and family members with incomes up to $25,000 to offset the impact of the HST. That benefits over 1.1 million British Columbians.

The Province is implementing a point-of-sale rebate on a number of products. These include:
gasoline or diesel
marine diesel or aviation fuel including biofuels
components used in a motor vehicle, boat or aircraft
books
children’s-sized clothing and footwear
children’s car seats and car booster seats
diapers and feminine hygiene products
all existing GST exemptions will continue to apply (i.e.; basic groceries)
We will offset the incremental cost of the HST on new homes by providing an HST rebate for new homes to a maximum rebate of $20,000. That means taxes remain essentially unchanged for new homes valued up to $400,000. It’s important to note that the HST only applies to new homes. There is no HST on previously-owned homes being re-sold.

There will also be rebates on the incremental cost of the HST for municipalities, charities and eligible non-profit organizations.

Question: Is this just another tax grab?

No. The revenue generated from the HST will be about the same as the revenue projected from the current PST system.

This shift from PST to HST will not be any kind of a “windfall” of revenue to the Provincial coffers. The $1.6 billion in one-time money that the federal government will transfer to us will help fund needed health care and education programs as we deal with the collapse of our provincial government revenues. Aside from that, the PST revenues and the HST revenues are about the same.

Question: Who supports the HST?

First of all, most leading Canadian economists and think-tank organizations support this move.
In addition, numerous provincial organizations have come forward voicing their support for this change, including:
The B.C. Business Council
The B.C. Progress Board
The B.C. Chamber of Commerce
The Retail Council of Canada
The Chartered Accountants of British Columbia
The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
The Council of Forest Industries
The Mining Association of British Columbia
The BC Trucking Association
The BC Roadbuilders Association
The Motion Picture Production Industry Association of British Columbia
These are more than just organizations – they represent hundreds of companies and employers who recognize that this is the single biggest thing we can do to enhance their competitiveness, allowing them to protect and grow jobs and wages in our communities – many of which are in rural British Columbia. Virtually every independent economist supports a move to HST.

Question: Why was this decision so sudden and such a surprise?

Every year for the past eight years, we have looked at the question of HST as part of the pre-budget review of all tax matters. Each year, we have come to the conclusion that, on balance, it was not in the interest of British Columbia. There were a couple of reasons for that. First of all, only three Canadian provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland) had adopted the HST system. (Quebec had adopted its own parallel VAT system in the early 1990s).

Secondly, there was little flexibility permitted for the tax rate in the federal model. We would have had to join the system with a 13 per cent rate as opposed to the 12 per cent we propose today. Furthermore, no exemptions were permitted.

The Ontario announcement changed everything.

While we knew, as of March 26th that Ontario was adopting the HST, our ability to assess the impact of that only came after the election. As we re-engaged with B.C. Finance officials after the election, it became quickly evident that the HST world had changed significantly.

With Ontario signing onto HST as of July 1, 2010, we quickly had to make decisions to ensure that B.C. would not be left at a competitive disadvantage. As we started discussions with the federal government in late May, they told us that we had to decide by the middle of July if we were going to get on the same July 2010 timeline that Ontario was on.

Question: Why didn’t we talk about this during the election?

It just wasn’t on our radar. As part of the previous budget process (as in every year prior), the Ministry of Finance had looked at the pros and cons of adopting the HST. As was the case in each of the previous years, the disadvantages outweighed the advantages. In the planning for the 2009 budget, like previous years, the decision was that HST did not make sense for B.C. given the inflexibility of the federal government and the fact that the only provinces to adopt a VAT system were east of Ontario.

During the election, the BC Liberal Party received dozens of "surveys" asking about the BC Liberal platform. In a couple of the surveys, the party was asked about the HST. The answer was that the party's platform, while aware of the benefits the HST offered, did not contemplate the adoption of the HST in B.C.

But circumstances changed after the election when we were once again able to engage with experts in the Ministry of Finance and were made aware of the full impact of Ontario’s actions and the new flexibilities provided by the federal government. We had to move fast if we were not to be left at a competitive disadvantage to Ontario.

Should we believe what the NDP are saying?

Absolutely not. While the NDP claim to support job-creating resource industries such as forestry and mining, their opposition to this would cost us investments and jobs that support both our rural and urban communities. They are using the HST for their own short-term political gain and failing to look at the long-term interests of our province. Their approach would take away $2 billion in savings to our employers and would ultimately cost us jobs.

They are also saying no to the $1.6 billion in transition funding from the federal government and $30 million in annual savings to taxpayers. That is money that can be used for important services such as health care and education. The NDP are willing to sacrifice that for short-term political gain. And while they claim to care about the deficit, they are willing to reject that money and add to the deficit burden on our children.

Remember, this is the same NDP who added billions of dollars in new taxes during the 1990s and have voted against more than 120 tax cuts since 2001.

In Conclusion:

Remember: The BC Liberals were elected to do what was right for our economy and job creation. The economy was the single biggest issue in the election campaign. Economists around the world say this is the single most important thing we can do to attract investment and create jobs. While it’s not popular, it is the right policy for our economy and in the long-term we will see those benefits. If we fail to act we will lose investment and job opportunities not only to other provinces but to other countries.

Remember: With the shift to the HST system, B.C. will still have the second lowest taxes of any province (and we are only marginally above Alberta). That includes the lowest personal income taxes in Canada for incomes up to $116,000, and the second lowest small business and corporate income taxes (soon to be THE lowest).

Remember: On top of lower prices, there are numerous products from gas to books to children’s clothing that are exempted from the PST portion of HST. New homeowners will get up to $20,000 in rebates. And low-income families will get up to $230 per person in additional tax credits that come via a cheque in the mail every three months.

Thank you for taking the time to read though some of the reasons why I think this adoption of HST is in the best interests of British Columbia.

Sincerely,

Colin Hansen
Minister of Finance


P.S.: Noted BC Economist, Jock Finlayson and his colleague, Ken Peacock, wrote one of the best explanations of the benefits of HST recently: http://www.bcbc.com/Documents/PR_20090728_BA_HST.pdf
Authorized By Jim Pipe, Financial Agent BC Liberal Party.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2009, 11:41 PM
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Yume-sama Yume-sama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacrifice333 View Post
Should we believe what the NDP are saying?

Absolutely not. While the NDP claim to support job-creating resource industries such as forestry and mining, their opposition to this would cost us investments and jobs that support both our rural and urban communities. They are using the HST for their own short-term political gain and failing to look at the long-term interests of our province. Their approach would take away $2 billion in savings to our employers and would ultimately cost us jobs.

They are also saying no to the $1.6 billion in transition funding from the federal government and $30 million in annual savings to taxpayers. That is money that can be used for important services such as health care and education. The NDP are willing to sacrifice that for short-term political gain. And while they claim to care about the deficit, they are willing to reject that money and add to the deficit burden on our children.

Remember, this is the same NDP who added billions of dollars in new taxes during the 1990s and have voted against more than 120 tax cuts since 2001.
I'd be willing to believe the NDP are against it because they didn't think of it first.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2009, 12:15 AM
DKaz DKaz is offline
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That e-mail was very insightful, thank you.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2009, 3:04 AM
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hollywoodnorth hollywoodnorth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yume-sama View Post
I'd be willing to believe the NDP are against it because they didn't think of it first.
well even if they did think of it first Gordo has had a lock down the past 8 years and will for the next 4 maybe 8

thanks for the email.

RAVMAN where r u now bro?
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2009, 3:29 AM
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Colin Hansen today stated that the $495 million deficit for the 2009/10 fiscal year is approaching $3 billion due to a dramatic decline in the provincial revenue stream as well as increasing costs.

Frankly, like the rest of us, I don't like the HST but the additional $1.6 billion cheque from the feds (as a result of implementing the HST) will certainly assist in alleviating cuts to health care, education, and social programs.

FWIW, the NDP promised another $3 billion in deficit financing during the election and BC would probably now be looking at a $6 billion annualized deficit under their tenure.

NDP Would Add $3 Billion to BC Debt

http://thetyee.ca/News/2009/04/10/NDPPlatform/

The Manitoba NDP government, a helluva more moderate, centrist and non-ideological than the BC NDP are also now looking at implementing the HST. Their Premier Gary Doer at least has some common sense IMHO.

Carole, Carole... who's that now popping up in your photo ops?



Source: http://www.lutralutra.co.uk
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2009, 4:00 AM
ravman ravman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywoodnorth View Post
well even if they did think of it first Gordo has had a lock down the past 8 years and will for the next 4 maybe 8

thanks for the email.

RAVMAN where r u now bro?

i am still here




Quote:
Originally Posted by Stingray2004 View Post
Colin Hansen today stated that the $495 million deficit for the 2009/10 fiscal year is approaching $3 billion due to a dramatic decline in the provincial revenue stream as well as increasing costs.

FWIW, the NDP promised another $3 billion in deficit financing during the election and BC would probably now be looking at a $6 billion annualized deficit under their tenure.
well firstly, if u had read our platform, we had calculated that the deficit would be 3 BILLION, based on what gordo had calculated in his superfudge budget.... so actually, we would be right on target WITHOUT THE HST....

mind you, we dont have access to all the numbers gordo has.... and i can bet and it will be confirmed in couple weeks, when gordo was telling voters that the deficit will be 495 million, if he was telling the truth, my gut tells me that he was WAY off before the writ was dropped....

Last edited by ravman; Aug 20, 2009 at 9:30 PM.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2009, 4:08 AM
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Surprise Decision on New Sales Tax Could Cost Tourism and Service Jobs

VICTORIA – The Campbell government’s surprise decision to bring in a new sales tax without consulting the tourism and restaurant industry could cost front line workers their jobs, the New Democrats said today.

“The move to a new tax came as a complete surprise to the tourism and foodservice industry. Gordon Campbell’s failure to consult with consumers or businesses is Spencer HerbertSpencer Herbertcompletely unacceptable,” said New Democrat tourism critic Spencer Herbert .

“Many restaurants are struggling to stay afloat during this economic downturn, and any further tax could cost service workers their jobs.”

Just last week, Minister of Small Business Iain Black assured the Restaurant and Foodservices Association that the government would not make any announcements on tax harmonisation without proper consultation.

Herbert noted that the food service industry could be hit particularly hard by the Campbell government’s new tax, which is estimated to result in $750 million in lost sales per year, or $50,000 for the average restaurant.

“This new tax could hit the tourism industry particularly hard, so the government’s decision to try and bring in this change without any proper consultation process is the height of irresponsibility,” said Herbert, who noted that the new tax will result in a seven per cent increase in taxes on movie tickets, theatre tickets, tours, and domestic airline fares.

“This sudden reversal caught consumers and many small businesses by surprise. During the campaign, the B.C. Liberals said they were opposed to the HST,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston. “With small businesses and families across the province struggling to make ends meet, now is not the time to catch British Columbians off-guard with a new tax and no consultation.”

Under the Campbell government, B.C. has had the worst rate of full-time job losses, the second-worst performing economy, and the highest level of child poverty in the country.

Carole James and the New Democrats have been holding Gordon Campbell accountable for his broken promises to protect health and education, his failure to admit until after the election that the deficit will be significantly higher than promised, and a growing ethical cloud hanging over his office as a result of new revelations in the B.C. Rail corruption trial.

B.C. Liberals’ New Sales Tax Will Kill Green Consumer Tax Exemptions

VICTORIA – The B.C. Liberal government’s surprise announcement of a new, $2 billion tax on consumers will bring an end to dozens of exemptions for environmentally-friendly choices, the New Democrats said today.

“During the election campaign, the B.C. Liberals staked their credibility on claims that they were encouraging consumers to make green choices. But now that the election is over, they’ve broken their promises and instead are scrapping millions of dollars inRob FlemingRob Fleming incentives and tax exemptions for sustainable products like bicycles, green building products and fuel-efficient cars,” said New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming .

Under the B.C. Liberals’ new HST, tax exemptions for dozens of environmentally-friendly products will be eliminated, including for fuel-efficient vehicles, electric scooters, biodiesel, insulation on pipes and hot water tanks, and investments in clean home energy technology. Some of these, like the credit for bicycles, have existed for decades.

“The B.C. Liberals have completely betrayed the modest list of PST exemptions in their so-called 2008 'Green Budget',” said Fleming. Bruce RalstonBruce Ralston“The Campbell government is taxing and threatening potential new green jobs and economic activity in green building, retrofitting, and retailing sustainable products.”

New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston noted that, when former Finance Minister Carole Taylor introduced a number of PST exemptions for environmental goods in 2008, she stressed the importance of these measures for encouraging green choices.

When introducing these measures, Taylor said “Each of these initiatives brings us one step closer to the future that we envision for our province. It's a future where we leverage our action on climate change in ways that support our quality of life and our economy with new innovations, new ideas and new technologies.”

Hansen has said that although “it was nice for the province to be able to say, well, this is exempt and that’s exempt”, losing these exemptions for green products is one of the “things that we give up” under HST.

Fleming noted that the province's total exemptions allowed under the new tax will be capped at five per cent of the gross annual sales of all taxable good and services, and that the B.C. Liberal government has chosen to dedicate most of these exemptions to fossil fuels.

“Almost all of the remaining tax exemptions allowed under the B.C. Liberals’ new sales tax are taken up by the credits for gasoline and motor fuel, leaving no room for the government to create tax policy exemptions for consumers who want to purchase environmentally-friendly items like Energy Star appliances and windows, heat pumps, solar energy installations and bicycles,” said Fleming.

“It’s the height of hypocrisy for this government to campaign on a platform highlighting incentives for green choices and promising not to bring in a new sales tax, and then to turn around after the election and do just the opposite,” said Ralston.

“Finance Minister Colin Hansen’s about-face on a new sales tax has caught consumers and many small businesses by surprise. With small businesses and families across the province struggling to make ends meet, now is not the time to catch British Columbians off-guard with a new tax without any consultation.”

Finance Minister’s Credibility On The Line As Pressure Mounts Over Campbell’s New Sales Tax

VICTORIA – Finance Minister Colin Hansen’s improbable claim that the B.C. Liberals were not considering a new sales tax until after the provincial election undermines the remaining credibility of the Campbell government, the New Democrats said today.

“Minister Hansen is trying to claim he wasn’t aware that Ontario was adopting a Bruce RalstonBruce Ralstonharmonized tax until late May. But the premier of Ontario was talking about his plans in February, so it’s simply inconceivable that this issue wasn’t on the B.C. government’s radar until after the election,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston .

Finance Minister Colin Hansen has claimed that he only started to consider bringing in a new sales tax mere days after the election, telling the media yesterday that the “harmonized sales tax was not on our radar" and only “became obvious” after the election.

After stating during the election campaign that any move toward tax harmonization would be “a major concern” and that they had “no plans” to do so, late last week the B.C. Liberals pulled an about-face and announced they will be merging the PST with the GST.

“Either the finance minister is completely over his head on this file, or he has been blatantly misleading British Columbians,” said Ralston.

“Coming from the minister who continued to claim that his government would keep their promise on a $495 million deficit for months after leading business leaders said it clearly wasn’t achievable, this is the last straw. British Columbians just can’t trust this minister to tell the truth about the B.C. Liberals’ plans.”

Ralston noted he questioned former Finance Minister Carole Taylor in the legislature last year, and she said at the time that despite pressure from the federal minister her government was not harmonizing the sales tax.

“Finance Minister Colin Hansen’s about-face on a new sales tax has caught consumers and many industries by surprise. With small businesses and families across the province struggling to make ends meet, now is not the time to catch British Columbians off guard with a new tax after no consultation,” said Ralston.

Carole James and the New Democrats have been holding Gordon Campbell accountable for his broken election promises, including his promise to protect health and education and his failure to admit until after the election that the deficit will be significantly higher than promised.

Under the Campbell government, B.C. has had the worst rate of full-time job losses, the second-worst performing economy, and the highest level of child poverty in the country.

Campbell’s New Tax Discourages Cycling, Exposes B.C. Liberal Environmental Hypocrisy


VICTORIA – The B.C. Liberal HST betrayal will hurt the environment by making cycling and other green alternatives less affordable, New Democrat leader Carole James said today. James was joined by members of Victoria’s cycling community at a local Carole JamesCarole Jamesbike shop to highlight the impact of the HST on cycling. She said the new HST betrays the B.C. Liberal election promise to tackle climate change.

“The new 12 per cent HST exposes the environmental hypocrisy of the B.C. Liberals,” said James. “During the election, Premier Campbell promised not to bring in the HST and to take action to tackle climate change. With this one decision to impose a new 12 per cent tax on environmentally friendly alternatives like bicycles, the B.C. Liberals have put the lie to both those promises.”

Bicycles have been PST-exempt since 1981 in B.C., but the new HST changes that. In addition to imposing a new tax on bikes, the B.C. Liberals’ February 2009 budget cut cycling infrastructure despite their claims about encouraging cycling through the Bike B.C. program.

“Cycling is our fastest growing mode of transportation, especially in Victoria and Vancouver. When it comes to cycling, Victoria is setting standards across the country demonstrating the viability of cycling as an environmentally friendly, convenient and low cost commuting alternative. During a time when governments across the world are looking at ways to encourage cycling, our government has imposed a brand new tax on bikes. It just doesn’t make sense - and this decision must be reversed,” said John Luton, Capital Bike and Walk Society Executive Director and Vancouver Island Cycle Tourism Alliance Coordinator.

“Gordon Campbell’s HST betrayal is bad for the economy, bad for jobs, and bad for the environment,” said James. “And it comes at the worst possible time for families struggling to make ends meet. That’s why New Democrats are fighting the HST and joining with British Columbians to stop this hurtful new tax.”

In addition to bicycles, the HST will force British Columbians to pay a lot more for food, meals at restaurants, funerals, real estate, theatre tickets, renovations, vitamins, school supplies, and more.

REALITY CHECK: Are The B.C. Liberals Planning A Costly Ad Campaign To Explain Away Their HST Betrayal?
News Release | Reality Check | Front Page | English

On Friday, when Gordon Campbell was asked if his government was going to unroll a costly HST advertising campaign, he said:

“We’re not planning to do that” (CKNW, Aug. 7, 2009)
But obviously even his finance minister didn’t believe him, because today Colin Hansen said:

“We’re working hard to put materials together that really help explain it to British Columbians” (CHNL, Aug. 10, 2009) ( the email is just the start)

Instead of wasting money trying to convince people that paying more for everything is a good idea, the Campbell government should listen to the vast majority of British Columbians and scrap their plans to implement the HST.

B.C. Liberals’ Betrayal On PST Commission Will Cost Businesses Thousands


VICTORIA – Businesses will lose thousands of dollars a year when the commission they receive for collecting sales tax on behalf of the provincial government is cancelled under the B.C. Liberals’ new HST, the New Democrats said today.

Finance Minister Colin Hansen confirmed yesterday afternoon that the commission will be eliminated next year.

“The elimination of the PST commission will hit small businesses by up to $2,400 a year. Coming on top of the lost sales many small businesses are expecting when the B.C. Liberals’ new tax takes effect next year, this will be a big blow to many small business owners who are working hard to make it through the economic downturn,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston.

Ralston noted that last October Gordon Campbell announced as part of his “10-point plan” that the government would be doubling the commission paid to businesses for collecting the PST.

At the time, the premier claimed this would “lower costs for B.C.’s businesses and add to their cash flow almost immediately. These measures will help small businesses and their families through these tough times.

“Only nine months later, Gordon Campbell has already tossed one of the points of his 10-point economic plan out the window. The premier clearly can’t be trusted to follow through on his promises to small businesses and average families,” said Ralston.

After saying during the election campaign that they were not going to bring in a new sales tax, the B.C. Liberals turned around and did just the opposite.

“The B.C. Liberals’ new sales tax has caught consumers and many small businesses by surprise. With small businesses and families across the province struggling to make ends meet, now is not the time to bring in a new tax, particularly without any consultation,” said Ralston.

MLA Dave Hayer Should Stand Up For Constituents Concerned About HST, Says NDP


SURREY – Liberal MLA Dave Hayer’s weak attempt to defend the Campbell government’s new Harmonized Sales Tax is a betrayal of his constituents who are calling on him to stand up for their concerns, the New Democrats said today.

“Many families and small businesses in Surrey will be hurt by the HST. Mr. Hayer Bruce RalstonBruce Ralstonshould know that introducing a new tax when families are struggling to make ends meet, without any public consultation, is outrageous,” New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston said.

On a South Asian radio interview yesterday, Hayer, the MLA for Surrey-Tynehead, repeatedly dismissed the concerns of the many constituents who called in to express their strong opposition to the new sales tax.

“By attempting to defend this tax grab, Dave Hayer is failing to represent the concerns of his constituents,” said Ralston. “The number of angry and frustrated constituents who called out Hayer is representative of the strong opposition that is building up against the Campbell government. The public has had enough of the B.C. Liberal government’s broken promises. People want their MLAs to listen to their concerns and stand up for their rights.”

After telling British Columbians during the campaign that they would not bring in an HST, just two months later the B.C. Liberals announced a new sales tax. The HST will be added on to items that were previously PST exempt, resulting in consumers paying an additional seven per cent for many everyday products and services, such as haircuts, cab rides, restaurant meals, and even funeral services.

“This seven per cent tax increase, during a difficult economic time, will have a strong impact on consumer spending. Small businesses in particular will suffer harsh consequences as a result of the B.C. Liberals’ betrayal,” said Ralston. “If Mr. Hayer really cares about small businesses in Surrey, he will stop acting as an apologist for the premier and stand up against this tax.”

Ralston noted that the restaurant industry alone estimates that the HST will cost them $750 million a year in lost sales, or $50,000 per year for the average restaurant, which could lead to job losses and even drive restaurants out of business.

REALITY CHECK: B.C. Liberals Continue To Break Rank On HST As Public Opposition Skyrockets


Colin Hansen and Gordon Campbell are facing even more dissent from their own colleagues for the ill-conceived HST. Meanwhile, public opinion polls demonstrate overwhelming opposition to the tax grab and election betrayal.

* 2009 B.C. Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Kensington Syrus Lee told radio listeners on Tuesday that he opposes the HST saying, "If it's revenue neutral, why would the government do it?" (Fairchild, Aug. 11, 2009)
* B.C. Liberal Vancouver-Fraserview constituency association president David Choi said on a public radio forum this weekend that the government had "no mandate to implement the HST without public consultation." (Fairchild, Aug. 15, 2009)
* Fairchild radio released a listeners' poll this weekend that clearly shows the Chinese community in B.C. is overwhelmingly against the HST. Ninety-nine per cent of over 3,000 voters oppose the HST, saying they feel it's a tax grab without consultation, is not revenue neutral, and is a broken election promise by Gordon Campbell.

B.C. Liberals from the past and present have already broken rank from Gordon Campbell and Colin Hansen, questioning their HST betrayal and ongoing lies about the timing of the decision and its impact on consumers:

* Former B.C. Liberal deputy premier Christy Clark says she doesn’t “think it’s possible” that the minister and the premier only considered implementing the HST after the election, saying “it was quite clear that British Columbia was going to be faced with this decision in March when Ontario adopted it, and they never thought to mention it to the voting public. I mean, it’s just sneaky all around.” (CBC radio, Aug. 14, 2009)
* Colin Hansen suggested last week that he knew about Ontario’s plans before the election, saying he “did not know that Ontario was going to go to an HST system until they announced it on March 26th” adding “I’m assuming that officials in the ministry have those conversations with federal officials” before the election. (CKNW, Aug. 13, 2009)
* Former B.C. Liberal MLA John Nuraney said there were ongoing talks about HST while he was a member of the B.C. Liberal caucus, and also said the new tax will be a “significant” blow to his restaurant business. (straight.com, Aug. 13, 2009)
* Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett has suggested consumers will see prices rise, saying “That is a concern… I have some concerns.” (Williams LakeTribune, Aug. 13, 2009)
* Tourism Minister Kevin Krueger has admitted that many businesses will be hurt by the HST, saying the “HST is going to be good for all concerned, but there are exceptions.” (Times Colonist, Aug. 9, 2009)

Gordon Campbell needs to listen to the Chinese community and British Columbians across the province and stop the HST.

Source: Opposition Caucus

Last edited by ravman; Aug 20, 2009 at 9:32 PM.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2009, 5:43 AM
deasine deasine is offline
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I need sources.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2009, 9:31 PM
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I need sources.
i thought it was clear.... nonetheless, posts have been edited
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2009, 10:32 PM
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I need sources.
How could you not know it's from the unbiased and completely objective NDP website.
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Old Posted Aug 20, 2009, 11:26 PM
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Yes, there are definite pros and cons when it comes to the different forms of taxation.

i'll let the forumers decide themselves what is a good taxation policy and what isn't, however, i'm am a little disappointed with the communication coming from the Premiers Office about this tax. Gordo and Hanson should be holding our hands and communicating exactly what is happening. they really should be trying to teach the masses some economics and taxation. they should run ads showing how the prices of goods should change and how this will affect the average person and the province as a whole.

These are extremely complicated issues that some people spend years studying (14 years myself) and so far it has been only the media trying to figure it out for us.

we should of also talk about the PST (SST) separate from the HST, as well as personal and corporate income taxes and how these tax affects our lives.

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Old Posted Aug 21, 2009, 3:38 PM
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I moved from BC to Manitoba in late 2006. The only prominent difference that I noticed with the PST is that it is charged on restaurant meals here. At first I was like "we don't have to pay PST on meals in BC!?!?!" -- But then I thought about it, did some math, and realized that considering how much I ate out, and all the other things that I pay less for here (cell phone contract, electricity, car insurance, mortgage, use MUCH less gasoline) it wasn't a big deal.

Granted, people don't have to be able to afford a $600,000 starter home here

I want to know if an HST in Manitoba will really make a visible difference to me?
I guess it does in BC where we enjoyed PST-free meals for years.
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Old Posted Aug 21, 2009, 4:38 PM
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I don't care about HST/VAT, just hide it from me! I hate the whole what you see on the price tag is not what you actually pay business.
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2009, 12:18 PM
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After that email, I support HST even more now, all that's left is to educate my foks. And I fully agree with you twoNeurons, it really doesn't need to be on the bill, I say just put (+12% HST) and if people really want to know then they can do the math.
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Old Posted Aug 24, 2009, 4:54 AM
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Colin Hansen today stated that the $495 million deficit for the 2009/10 fiscal year is approaching $3 billion due to a dramatic decline in the provincial revenue stream as well as increasing costs.
.
Fine. Then why weren't the BC Liberals honest during the election campaign, instead of sticking with the $495 mil figure?? It's their own version of the Fudge-it Budget.
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Old Posted Sep 24, 2009, 3:57 PM
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After that email, I support HST even more now, all that's left is to educate my foks. And I fully agree with you twoNeurons, it really doesn't need to be on the bill, I say just put (+12% HST) and if people really want to know then they can do the math.
IT doesn't even need to be on the price tag. It should be included, not tacked on.

and btw, I love this answer:
Quote:
Question: Why didn’t we talk about this during the election?

It just wasn’t on our radar. As part of the previous budget process (as in every year prior), the Ministry of Finance had looked at the pros and cons of adopting the HST. As was the case in each of the previous years, the disadvantages outweighed the advantages. In the planning for the 2009 budget, like previous years, the decision was that HST did not make sense for B.C. given the inflexibility of the federal government and the fact that the only provinces to adopt a VAT system were east of Ontario.

During the election, the BC Liberal Party received dozens of "surveys" asking about the BC Liberal platform. In a couple of the surveys, the party was asked about the HST. The answer was that the party's platform, while aware of the benefits the HST offered, did not contemplate the adoption of the HST in B.C.

But circumstances changed after the election when we were once again able to engage with experts in the Ministry of Finance and were made aware of the full impact of Ontario’s actions and the new flexibilities provided by the federal government. We had to move fast if we were not to be left at a competitive disadvantage to Ontario.

<snip>

Colin Hansen
Minister of Finance
It doesn't matter which "fearless leader" you support, this has a very high probability of being a lie. Are we to believe that the HST benefits were sprung on the Minister of Finance who wasn't fully aware of its benefits? Disingenuous at best.

And the whole "we had to decide before the middle of July" to be on the same time frame garbage is just that... garbage. It would make very little difference to our "Competetive advantage" to be on a schedule that was a few months later. I'm sure the federal gov't would even give us an extra month to decide.

The reality is, that the current gov't, like any gov't, knew that they had to make people think it was futile to resist, because the decision was already made and there was nothing they could do about it.

Again, it doesn't matter whether it's Liberal, NDP, Green or whatever... just tell me the truth.
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Old Posted May 8, 2010, 5:41 PM
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Oops, looks like the BC Libs had to do some fast, fancy footwork to save the gov't from paying some of this "good tax":

After almost a year of arguing that the harmonized sales tax is good for the economy, the B.C. government has redrawn part of its organizational chart to avoid a $3.5-million HST bill...

...“It’s not sidestepping. … It’s a wash as to how we structure it,” he said. “We’re the tax collector. Whatever HST is paid by a government entity, we pay it. Whenever a revenue is collected, we receive it.”

But a March 22 briefing note written for the health authorities shows the fledgling agency was hastily restructured in large part because of the coming tax change...

...Adrian Dix, the NDP health critic, said the manoeuvre highlights how the government didn’t really think through the tax change. But he said it will fuel public anger over the HST.

“The government is telling consumers to pay more, but it is exempting itself. This is the hypocrisy of their action,” he said....


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1561355/
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Old Posted May 8, 2010, 5:49 PM
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So Adrian Dix is angry that the provincial government is trying to avoid paying tax to the federal government? I can't see how that would make me angry.
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Old Posted May 8, 2010, 6:07 PM
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Gordon Campbell: Saving BC Taxpayers Money

WHEN WILL IT END?
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Old Posted May 8, 2010, 9:01 PM
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yeah, that's pretty weak whatnext.

the opposition seems to always make really really dumb arguments or say things that are absolutely false which end up discrediting the few good things they say.
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