The HST is the right tax for B.C.

With just a few days left for British Columbians to vote and return their ballots I’d like to discuss the importance of the decision in front of you, and encourage you to vote if you haven’t already.

Kevin Falcon

BC Minister of Finance

 

VICTORIA – With just a few days left for British Columbians to vote and return their ballots I’d like to discuss the importance of the decision in front of you, and encourage you to vote if you haven’t already.

One of the concerns we’ve heard quite frequently is the confusion over the ballot question itself.

This question was developed by Elections BC, an organization independent from government.

To be clear, a ‘NO’ vote is a vote to keep the HST and a ‘YES’ vote is a vote to go back to the PST plus GST.

I have said since day-one that I intend to vote ‘NO’ to higher taxes, and to keep the HST.

It is important to understand what this means. If you are in favour of lower taxes and a 10 per cent HST, you should vote ‘NO’ on  your ballot.

Nine of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world all use an HST-type consumption tax.

So do 140 countries around the world. No jurisdiction anywhere has introduced a retail sales tax in decades. Voting ‘YES’ is a vote for a 12 per cent GST plus PST tax with a bureaucratic and expensive dual-tax system.

Also, if voters choose to keep the HST and vote ‘NO’, the Province will provide a $175 per-child HST transition payment for families and $175 for seniors with annual incomes of up to $40,000, to help with the transition

until the rate drops – one per cent in 2012 and a further one per cent in 2014.

These proposed changes are responsive and fair, and allow us to keep our commitment to balancing our budget.

Importantly, the proposed changes to the HST, including transition payments, will only take effect should British Columbians vote ‘NO’ to the referendum question and retain the HST.

Overwhelmingly, businesses, small and large alike, are in support of the HST and are encouraging people to vote ‘NO’ to keep it.

This is an important consideration because these companies are the backbone of our economy and ensure you and your family have well-paying jobs throughout all our communities.

For almost every sector – whether it’s the film industry, tourism, forestry, mining or agriculture – the HST is a better tax because it is simpler and more progressive, which means these companies save money and can add jobs.

The anti-HST forces are trying to make this an emotional vote instead of focusing on the facts.

I have acknowledged we did a poor job introducing the tax, but we all need to move on and focus on what is right for the province.

They are trying to convince you that the HST is a tax break for big business and hurts everyone else. They completely ignore the fact we are taking a balanced approach by lessening the burden on families and shifting some of the burden onto business.

I know British Columbians will see past their games and focus on the decision at hand.

Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked hard to keep British Columbia competitive by developing a business climate that encourages companies to invest here and create jobs for families across every region of this province. The HST is one more reason B.C. is a good place for business to invest and grow. Voting ‘NO’ in the referendum will mean a 10 per cent HST for British Columbia by July 1, 2014.

It will also help us remain a top investment choice for businesses and mean more high-paying jobs for our families.

Your opportunity to vote ends soon. All ballots must be received by Elections BC or any Service BC office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011.

I will be voting ‘NO’ in the referendum because I believe the HST is the right choice for our families, our businesses and our communities.

I encourage all British Columbians to ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision and vote. It’s your choice.

 

Just Posted

Cyclist struck in Castlegar

Morning mishap at gas station on Columbia

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

Police investigating felling of old cedars at Cottonwood Lake

One of the cedars was 300 to 450 years old

Vancouver media/tech trip inspires Castlegar students

Students enthusiastically toured several company and educational sites

PLACE NAMES: Obscure Arrow Lakes names

Historic maps reveal some little-known places

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Most Read