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NEWS RELEASE · 7th April 2010
BC NDP Caucus
B.C. Liberal Finance Minister Colin Hansen needs to do his homework on the HST, New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston said today. Earlier today, Hansen insisted that the HST will have no impact on rental and condo fees despite the fact that the HST will increase costs for most landlords in B.C..

“It’s disturbing that the same finance minister that announced the HST and introduced HST-enabling legislation isn’t even aware of its effects,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston. “Instead of telling British Columbians that they are wrong about the HST, perhaps he should do his homework and get his facts straight.”

Finance Minister Colin Hansen said today that anti-HST websites are misinformed when they claim rent and condo fees will increase because of the HST. Hansen said “in fact that's not true.”

However, according to the Rental Owners and Managers Society of B.C. the HST will increase costs for most B.C. landlords above normal inflationary cost increases, even with rebates on electricity and gas.

The HST will increase most rental housing industry costs such as property management, repairs and maintenance contracts by seven per cent July 1. These costs will be passed on to tenants through rent increases or to condo owners through condo fees.

“The claim by the finance minister is absurd, and particularly unnerving considering it’s his legislation,” said Ralston. “These comments are indicative of the B.C. Liberals’ serious lack of study put into this $1.9 billion tax shift on to consumers.

“Before the election they said they had no plan to implement the HST, but as soon as the election was over, the B.C. Liberals announced the HST with no public consultation and no study to determine its affect on families and major economic sectors.”

Carole James in the New Democrats will use every tool to fight the HST-enabling legislation, and are asking B.C. Liberal MLAs to support their constituents and vote to stop the HST.