NEWS RELEASE · 8th June 2011
Finance Minister Kevin Falcon's ever-shifting line on the HST is a telling example of why British Columbians don't trust the B.C. Liberals, say the New Democrats.
Falcon refused to give a straight answer Wednesday morning when asked by a reporter if the Liberals' promise to reduce the rate of the HST would be a permanent reduction.
"This is just the latest in the shifting lines offered by the Liberals on the HST," New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston said. "They said they were against it, then they brought it in. They said it would be revenue-neutral, when it clearly is not. They said it would create jobs and lower prices, but those claims have been shown to be tragically false."
Falcon's comments only add to the confusion," Ralston said.
"Premier Clark said only a few months ago that dropping the rate of the HST by a point or two would just be buying their votes with their own money," said Ralston. "Now Mr. Falcon won't even guarantee the drop would be permanent.
"I guess this means they've gone from trying to buy votes to trying to rent them."
"As it stands now, the only thing Christy Clark and the Liberals are saying is 'trust us.' That's a pretty hard argument to make from a government that has repeatedly broken their word on fundamental issues in British Columbia," said Ralston.
"The best the Liberals have been able to offer is that maybe in three years the rate will be decreased – as long as that promise isn't like all the other throwaway promises the B.C. Liberals have made – and maybe that rate won't go up again."
Ralston said Falcon is trying to convince voters that going back to a tax system he supported up to the 2009 election would have dire consequences for B.C.'s budget. But reliable analysis shows that reverting to the GST/PST system would help balance the provincial budget earlier and would save taxpayers $2 billion. On the other hand, Premier Clark has already said that vital public services such as health care and education may be cut to cover the costs of her HST bribe.
"B.C. voters have a clear choice beginning June 24," Ralston said. "They should vote 'Yes' to eliminate the HST, and return British Columbia to a system that worked well for decades and that saves people money."
Adrian Dix and the B.C. New Democrats willl continue to fight to eliminate the HST by telling voters the true cost of the new tax to families and small businesses, and by campaigning for a 'Yes' vote to eliminate the HST in the upcoming mail-in referendum.
Yes means no
Comment by mbweston on 9th June 2011
From the Penticton News:
"There is a lot about the referendum that can be confusing, including how to answer the question.
"The question reads: “Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST (harmonized sales tax) and reinstating the PST (provincial sales tax) in conjunction with the GST (goods and services tax)?”
"So, if you want to get rid of the HST, you have to vote ‘yes.’
"If you want to keep the HST, vote ‘no.’"
Comment by ed on 9th June 2011
The proposed question is: "Are you in favour of extinguishing the HST and reinstating the PST in conjunction with the GST — yes or no?"
yes I want the pst,gst or.....
No,Iwant the hst
does yes mean yes or no?
Comment by mbweston on 9th June 2011
Can someone clarify for me exactly what we are voting on? There was an 'expert' on CBC Radio saying that if we vote "no" to teh HST we are actually voting "yes" to it. I am very confused.
HST or Liberal Referendum
Comment by Barry English on 9th June 2011
The HST battle is starting to become a referendum on the Liberal government rather than an intellectual discussion on the merits of the tax itself. In theory, the tax itself is not all that bad, and actually has some good points to it. however, just because the government still cannot get its story straight about their intentions, it is almost impossible to support it.
A reduction in the rate sometime down the road, accompanied by an increase in the corporate tax rate that the finance minister all but admits is temporary does not make the HST any more palatable. This is especially true when the new premier has said the a reduction would just be buying votes with the taxpayer's own money.
One, just one, clear cut statement from the government on their intentions would probably sway a lot of undecided voters, but they cannot even do that. I will be voting yes to abolish the HST just because on this one issue alone, I have not been able to believe one word that this government has said about the tax.