Letters to the Editor

High cost to killing the HST

My parents taught me to not “cut off your nose to spite your face.”

Well, that is exactly what the anti-HST campaigners are aiming to do.

The costs of unravelling the HST will be massive – repayment of $1.6 billion to Ottawa, and expensive rebuilding of duplicate business collection systems and federal and provincial bureaucracies to manage and audit two taxes (as in, more government).

Low-income rebates and tax cuts will be reversed.

The hit to B.C.’s budget could be $4 billion. Important services will likely be slashed or debt increased.

The “accepted wisdom” is that the Gordon Campbell Liberals lied about the tax, but I have not seen any quotes or video clips from either Premier Campbell or Finance Minster Colin Hansen saying anything at all about a HST during the May 2009 election campaign.

If such quotes existed, I expect that they would be played incessantly – but they are not.  At worst, they may have “lied by omission.”

There is no shortage of ironies in all this.

First, Canadians have a long record of rewarding lies.  Most recently, Stephen Harper got a majority, notwithstanding broken promises on Senate appointments, income trusts and provincial equalization payments.

“The people” aren’t angry with him.

Second, it was under Bill Vander Zalm himself that the property transfer tax was introduced in 1988, without prior consultation with “the people.” That tax now takes up to $1 billion each year from B.C. home buyers.

Third, the NDP and their union allies are fighting the HST. Many B.C. public sector union contracts are up this year.

If they win, B.C.’s finances will crater. Who do they think will pay their contract demands?

So be angry at the B.C. Liberals if you want, but the place to show that anger is at the ballot box, not now, out of spite – to our own faces.

Ian MacLeod

Richmond

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
Arrange childcare, Surrey School District tells parents
 
South Surrey brokerage shutdown sidelines nearly 70 real estate agents
 
Life of a pot-store owner: Guards and cash
Burnaby singer to hit career high note at Seahawks game
 
Vancouver loses the TEAM radio, which will now become TSN 1040/1410
 
Open our aboriginal fisheries, says Cheam chief in letter to DFO
Lac-Megantic: lawyers want charges dropped
 
New mural crystallizes in Burnaby Heights
 
Convicted serial rapist apologizes for Langley crime, says he has changed

Community Events, August 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.