HST risk

I sent a letter to the federal government to let them know our concern about the new tax, the HST in B.C.

This tax was introduced by our former prime minister, Jean Chretien, years ago after a promise that if he were elected, he would get rid of the GST. It was not his intention to get rid of the HST and he offered the provinces to go along with his plan 50/50 with the money collected by the federal government.

The main concern with this tax is that we cannot trust our governments as we saw so many times, and as we saw again in B.C. when our provincial government implemented  the HST with the idea that after it was officially a federal tax, the province cannot reverse it.

Now we have to vote in regards to the HST so it is important to know what this tax is for and what it means for the poor and the rich and for the governments before we vote.

The HST is the best way for the federal and provincial governments to balance their budgets.

We were told the HST will replace the PST and the GST and it will cost very little more than these taxes. PST seven percent plus GST five per cent equals 12 per cent HST.

The fact is the HST is costing a lot more in the long-term. We already have PST seven per cent plus carbon tax five per cent plus GST five per cent  equals 17 per cent HST.

If the government in the long-term wants to balance their budget, they can add five per cent for hospital, six per cent for forest fires, three per cent for foreign aid, five per cent for school, etc, now we have HST 36 per cent. We have a balanced budget.

So we can vote in favour of the HST and take the risk, or against it, and go back to seven per cent PST plus five per cent carbon tax equals 12 per cent PST and five per cent GST.

The carbon tax is not that much of a necessity in Canada. This is why the federal government did not take this initiative so the new government in B.C. can eliminate it and go back to PST seven per cent instead of 12 per cent PST.

If the risk is not real with the HST, how can we explain the fact that the federal government offered the B.C. government to make that deal with the HST and then will have to give to Quebec and the other governments that already have the HST in place a good bunch of money as they gave to B.C.

This tax can be a very heavy load for the poor class  of the society, 80 per cent of our population, good for business, acceptable for the rich that can afford it and very good for our government to finally a balanced budget.

As Mr. Flaherty (from ministry of finance) let me know in his reply letter, it is up to the provinces to take the HST or not.

Bernard Laroque

Vernon