Talking Out Both Sides Of Your Mouth

Last modified on August 24th, 2009

It’s hard I imagine. Yet BC’s finance minister seems to do it rather well. On AM1150 this morning, he had the following to say:

Speaking on AM1150’s Early Edition Monday morning, Finance Minister Colin Hansen says, “Going to a value added tax system, as 130 other countries around the world have already done, and most provinces have already done is exactly the right thing to do at this time. It is the thing that will stimulate the economy and create jobs more than any other single action that the province can take.”

Sounds great, but does it blend? I’m still waiting for someone to tell me just how it stimulates the economy and creates jobs. To me, it sounds like just a modified tax system, one that ultimately results in consumers paying tax on items that aren’t currently taxed. Now for sound bite number two:

Hansen is having open dialogue with the tourism and restaurant industry, who believe the HST will adversely affect them:

“We are consulting with those industries. I’ve met numerous times with the restaurant representatives and with the tourism representatives. We’ve said that we will look at measures that will help mitigate this for those specific industries that are impacted.”

Hanson says next week’s budget will outline details on how the provincial government will help those sectors when the HST is implemented on July 1, 2010.

So let me get this straight — even though the HST will “stimulate the economy and create jobs”, the finance minister is going to work with each industry to mitigate the adverse affects? Doesn’t that imply that it’s kind of bad?

Anyways, I’ve read a ton of articles about this, and I’m convinced it’s just another tax grab so that Gordon Campbell doesn’t have to publicly say how broke the province is (prior to the election, the liberals were opposed to the HST — but as soon as the federal government dangled a 1.6 billion dollar carrot in front of them, suddenly they supported it). Apparently the BC Legislature goes back in session tomorrow, and the expectation is that Gordon Campbell is going to get raked against the coals over the HST.

2 responses to “Talking Out Both Sides Of Your Mouth”

  1. Is there anything that will no longer be taxed with the HST that used to be with the PST? Also, I’m puzzled why the harmonized tax isn’t lower than the combined PST+GST, which it should be if it applies to more things. At least, if it’s supposed to be revenue-neutral. I’m not sure it is.

  2. Duane Storey says:

    I can’t see how it is revenue neutral.

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