This is the response sent by email to my letter:
From: “Office of the Premier, Premier@gov.bc.ca”
“Thank you for your email regarding the harmonized sales tax. I
appreciate receiving your concerns.
Since 2001, the government has taken significant steps to improve the
B.C. tax system. We have worked hard to reduce taxes for individuals and
to improve the competitiveness of B.C. business through the reductions
in personal and corporate income taxes and the elimination of corporate
The HST is the single biggest thing we can do to improve B.C.’s economy.
I believe it is an essential step to make our businesses more
competitive, encourage billions of dollars in new investment, lower
costs on productivity and reduce administrative costs to B.C. taxpayers
and businesses. Most importantly, this will create jobs and generate
long-term economic growth that will in turn generate more revenue to
sustain and improve crucial public services like health care, education
and social services.
With a single HST tax rate, one substantially harmonized tax base, and
one set of administrative rules instead of the duplication that
currently exists with the PST, compliance costs for British Columbia
businesses are expected to fall by about $150 million annually. When
fully phased-in, British Columbia will also save about $30 million
annually in administrative costs due to the fact that the federal
government will administer the HST at no cost to the province. British
Columbia will also receive one-time funding of $1.6 billion from the
federal government which will help maintain vital public services such
as healthcare and education.
We strongly believe that switching to the HST is the most important
change we can make to ensure a strong and growing economy. Although
there will be adjustments required by British Columbians in the short
term, it is a decision which will pay dividends to all British
Columbians over the long term.
If you are interested in more details related to the announcement, you
can find more information at:
tm .. or http://www.gov.bc.ca/hst/ — on the left side and bottom of
that page, there are separate sections relating to specific groups such
as businesses, individuals, highlighting the benefits of the HST.
If you are interested in knowing more about the Budget that was
presented in the Legislature today, you can find that information at the
following site: http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/ The Minister’s speech
outlines some of the many benefits of the HST as well.
We do appreciate your taking the time to write.”
My thoughts in response to that:
I actually did read through most of the HST promo
webpages. All it did was serve to enforce my opinion.
I appreciate that it will save big industry and
government and that that savings is meant to filtre
down to the masses, but I simply don't see that
happening. I don't see this resulting in price
drops that will save the average Canadian.
And, I have already heard from many that they are
planning to cut their spending in areas that will
be increasing in cost by 7%. Just barely out of a
recession, cut spending risks putting us right
back into a bad economic state.