There must be a better way
It seems that the masses have backed Vander Zalm’s Anti-GST campaign and have put into motion a series of events that may bring the BC Liberal leadership to its knees. But at what cost?
The Liberal government have already admitted to having to pulp almost $1 million dollars worth of pamphlets that were deemed “unusable” by the court system. Thanks to Vander Zalm, we can now look forward to a further $30 million being spent on a referendum. And, if this succeeds, there will be the $1.6 BILLION repayment of the “bribe” from the Federal government.
In my opinion, there seems to have been a huge amount of misinformation on both sides of the debate. Granted, I have never trusted Campbell and was not surprised to hear the HST announcement shortly after the public re-elected him, but I recently heard Vander Zalm talking on CBC radio stating that, and I paraphrase a bit, “people now have to pay the HST on new car purchases”. I was quite shocked that no one called him on this. The public has been paying 12% tax on new auto purchases for a number of years now. The only real difference is that businesses can now obtain a refund on the entire 12% amount as opposed to the previous 5% GST portion.
As a business owner, I am a bit indifferent. On the one hand, I enjoy that I can now claim a credit for all of the HST on my business purchases. I have not noticed the 7% increase that I pay for some items. Apparently the people in Ontario haven’t noticed much either. We don’t hear much about a tax revolt in Ontario. Perhaps they are just too complacent. Or perhaps it was the manner in which the tax was implemented there.
What will it take to appease the public? A reduction in the HST rate (ie maybe reduce the rate on previously PST exempt items) and/or having Mr. Campbell “man up” and admit his deception, step down, and save the Province of a costly referendum (and perhaps a lynching)? It would be a good start.
Throwing away $30 million on a referendum is, in my opinion, no better than throwing the proverbial “salt in the wound”.