Recently on CBC Radio, I heard one of their economic panel members commenting on the BC HST situation. I fully agree with her opinion that submitting such a complex economic matter to the public for a binding decision was irresponsible. It should never have been done, especially when the vote was based on such an emotionally charged matter which was poorly introduced in the first place.
What our new premier has done is gambled away our future economic viability (especially internationally) in at least two critical ways:
1) According to many reliable economic researchers, raising the minimum wage obviously increases costs, and the unemployment rate, especially among young people and unskilled adults. These are measurable facts.
2) Our former phone-in host has further demonstrated her inability to make the hard economic decision to keep the HST which has been implemented at great cost, which will cost an almost equal amount to re-implement the PST, and which would have provided the province with substantial on-going competitive benefits.
We are now clearly identified as a poor jurisdiction in which to do business, fully lacking in an understanding of the needs of employers – large and small, and the economic viability of the irrational decisions this current unprincipled government makes. The increasing uncertainty and bungling are devastating to business. We are now firmly established on the road to being an NDP-style have-not province.
What is suggested is the following:
A. The premier must resign, or wake up from her dream-world, immediately;
B. The members of cabinet who contested the premiership must similarly also resign or wake up, for having supported increasing the minimum wage, and for supporting the public vote on the HST;
C. A new or reconstituted premier should be chosen who will take immediate steps to reverse the minimum wage increases (yes, plural as that is what is planned);
D. The refreshed government should immediately initiate an investigation into the claims that the Zalm, our former discredited premier, and his venomous cohorts made in opposing the HST. If he and his socialist supporters can be shown to have seriously misrepresented the damage resulting from the HST, then the commitment to cancelling the HST should be reversed with adequate disclosure of the valid reasons. If this is legally impossible, then the PST should be increased by an amount that will cover the costs of this fiasco, amortized over no more than 10 years.
It appears that many voters voted against the HST emotionally rather than rationally, and are now sorry they did. If a better, more clear case can be made for keeping it, there would seem to be more voters who would support the move than reject it.