A victory for political integrity

This is in response to Chase D'Angelo's article regarding the people of B.C., their choice to eliminate the HST...

This is in response to Chase D’Angelo’s article regarding the people of B.C., their choice to eliminate the HST, and the results of not having taxes to provide social assistance.

I am glad to see you are trying to keep in touch with the political/economic relationship in B.C. but restricting your information intake to newspapers and television news channels is a precarious approach to a subject as in depth as the B.C. Liberal government’s stance on taxation and social services.

Have any of your media outlets reminded their viewers that Gordon Campbell, the advocate for the expensive transition to and from the HST, was also the one who took away 25 per cent income tax in order to gain support and be voted in as B.C.’s leader in the early 2000s?

Do they mention that with the elimination of the HST, many small businesses will actually witness an increase in business as low and middle-income families are no longer subject to a universal 12 per cent tax, compared to the adjusted and time-tested PST/GST which is not a universal tax. Our old tax system has developed in a way that considers lighter taxation on products low-income families use every day and on products that might benefit the entire society through individual use, like bicycles.

I understand you want to see health care and other social programs saved by our tax money, but let me remind you that Gordon Campbell took away taxes that went directly to education and health care (cutting the income tax caused education to lose over $300 million in funding every year, just think of how it would have influenced health care) in order to gain public support and be voted in.

You make a comment regarding student loans and post-secondary tuition. I am currently receiving student loans, have been throughout my entire college and university education, and let me tell you that whether we are taxed seven per cent or 12 per cent at Wal-Mart will not make a difference in the availability of health care or student loans.

You also seem to contradict yourself. You say you hope low-income families are glad when they save $3 with their purchases once the HST is extinguished, but in the next paragraph you claim you are appalled at the notion that “you all” seem to think that we will pay less taxes. So, according to you, we are going to be saving some money in purchases but at the same time we won’t be paying less than we were under the HST?

Sorry, your logic doesn’t add up to me or anyone else I ask for clarification.

I have questions for you and other people who are quick to take the same stance as you. Where were you in the early 2000s when Gordon Campbell came in tearing away tax support for health and education? Also, more recently, were you an advocate for the HST when Gordon Campbell announced he would not be looking into a new tax system?

If “you people” (in your words) are so politically and economically active, then where were you during the implementation of the HST? And why are you waiting until all the dust has settled, regarding the HST, in order to take a shot at those who prefer a government who is open and honest in their communication with the citizens they govern.

Were his actions during his political career conducted under the best wishes of the B.C. public or under the best wishes of economic growth that was tailor-designed to profit the rich? This is the trickle-down theory regarding the social gap between rich and poor families in B.C. and it does not fix any problems, especially when tax money is being used on things like the new $577 million roof for B.C. Place or the $600 million Port Mann Bridge.

Extinguishing the HST was a victory for the low and middle-income families of B.C. and for the political integrity of the province. As a post-secondary student and future educator, I see value in creating an unbiased opinion that is formulated with consideration of both sides of the situation.

Ryan Plouffe

Vernon