In regards to the HST concerns that are currently being spoken about in the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding, I would like to make the following observations.
Firstly, the HST is not an added tax to our current burden but rather a “ harmonization “ of that which is already in place. We currently have a 5% GST and a 7% PST which adds to a total of the HST amount of 12%.
If an item was subject to GST or PST, then that same amount of tax will be applied but as a one line item on your receipt rather than 2 lines. If a product was not subject to the PST, for instance, gasoline, and other fuels, children’s clothing and footwear, books car seats, groceries or prescription drugs, then those and many other items are to be exempt from the PST portion of the HST.
Yes, there will be HST added to items such as restaurant meals, but there will also be rebates for municipalities’ charities and other non-profit organizations. It does become a balancing act on the part of government.
We do have to keep in perspective, that British Columbia has the second lowest overall tax burden in Canada and the lowest personal income tax burden in Canada. This is no small accomplishment towards the benefit of individuals and companies alike. This is something, which the BC Liberals are extremely and justly proud to have accomplished for the benefit of all segments of our society.
There has been some small discussion around the supposed concern as to why this was not discussed during the May election.
It is really quite simple. When Ontario recently adopted the HST concept along with 6 other provinces; we then become less competitive with Ontario for jobs and investment. To keep competitive, to keep that investment flowing into BC, to keep jobs developing in BC and to continue with the lowest or second lowest tax jurisdiction, it was decided that we have to initiate the HST. In other words, circumstances changed and we as a government had / have to react for the benefit of our province. We will not and cannot be stuck in an ideological rut to the detriment of families and the elderly.
We have to keep our young, our fathers and mothers, our young kids and young adults employed. We have to be competitive which means that we have to harmonize the different taxes necessary to save money, keep businesses and employees strong, and keep folks working to every one’s benefit.
Yes, this is a change in how things are perceived at the sales counter but there are numerous areas of savings that get passed onto we the consumer. Next week, I will list many of those systemic savings, which will indicate how we will trend towards greater job security and lowest taxation in Canada.
David R. Pacey
Liberal Constituency – Columbia River / Revelstoke