To the editor:
While it appears that many B.C. businesses, and the provincial liberals, are in favour of the HST, for the most part these proponents favour the tax only because they see a direct benefit for themselves and don’t consider the bigger picture where, according to independent studies, the tax will actually increase the financial burden on B.C. families and consumers.
And to think that any benefit realized by these businesses would be passed along to consumers is only a dream, especially in light of the current economy where many businesses are in survival mode and holding on to every dollar they can. The increased burden will only cause British Columbians to re-evaluate their spending habits which will, in turn, negatively affect those very same businesses that favour the HST.
Another factor to consider is that the province is relinquishing its taxing authority, by reducing the PST to “zero,” to the federal government, and relying upon the federal government to collect and remit a certain amount back to the province in place of the former PST. In other words, the federal government has total control over provincial revenues leaving our province totally dependent upon the federal government for those revenues. Not only that, the federal government has complete control over the tax rate because it is a “federal” tax and can (and will likely) increase it in the future as the demand for more revenue rises. And they can do so without provincial approval. (The average tax rate within the European Union membership is 21.5 per cent the highest being 25 per cent). Oh, and don’t forget, the province can always reinstate a PST at any time as well.
The bottom line is, you can forget about all the spin and hype surrounding the “benefits” of the HST because when it comes to government messing around with the taxing laws, you can bet the farm that it is for the sole purpose of increasing revenues at the expense of the average B.C. citizen and their families.