To the editor:
The Liberals have made the HST an interesting topic of study for political scientists around the world; not in a positive way mind you, but as a fine example of how NOT to implement a tax shift.
What started as a lie in an election has now evolved into Christy Clark's attempt to buy your vote by reducing the HST rate by two per cent and haphazardly tossing in one time payments, much of it to recipients who don't need it.
The revenue shortfall this creates will either lead to new taxes, cuts to public services and/or more government debt.
The NDP is also an interesting topic for study. It started when the socialist party ran their anti environmental 'axe the tax' election campaign opposing the carbon tax, and now they continue the theme in their anti HST campaign.
We need it all, says the NDP, the world's best medical care, social safety net and pensions, the best paid unionized workforce and the smallest classrooms, but apparently, we shouldn't have to pay taxes for it. Sounds great, but if you look close enough, you can see some NDP noses grow longer.
Beyond the hot air of party rhetoric, the HST has its good and bad sides. On the positive side it simplifies our taxes, and the independent panel predicted that it will create almost 25,000 BC jobs by shifting taxation from production to consumption.
Instead of taking the Liberals' indiscriminate approach, Greens would have targeted waste, pollution, junk food and carbon emissions with higher taxes and then have used that revenue to create green jobs in alternative energy production, wellness initiatives and energy savings. What a lost opportunity.
Most of us, including NDP MLA Michelle Mungall, who make over $100,000 per year, will pay more tax under the HST, but the lowest income earners, thanks to generous tax rebates, will actually be better off.
Mungall still claims that the HST isn't 'fair,' which reminds me of my friend Pete who used to tell his kids that 'fair is where pigs get ribbons.'
The Green Party sees no 'right' option in the HST referendum, but like Green leader Jane Sterk, I voted to keep the HST. On balance that choice seems better than a return to the bad old PST and GST.