What's more important: Gordon Campbell's HST or cuts to health care?

Judging from comments on this site, the public is in an uproar over Premier Gordon Campbell's decision to sucker-punch consumers and the restaurant industry by announcing a harmonized sales tax just 10 weeks after the election.

The B.C. Liberals told a national restaurant association before  voting day  that the HST was not in the party platform.

But perhaps  just as  troubling is what's happening on the health-care front. During the campaign, the premier repeatedly said he would protect this area.

Five days before the election, the Georgia Straight published an article in which NDP health critic Adrian Dix claimed the B.C. Liberals had a secret agenda to cut health care after the election.

“We have serious concerns about cuts that are coming,” Dix said at the time. “There will be serious cuts to the provincial health care in the next few months if the Liberals are reelected. They’re hoping to sneak their way through this election, but that’s what’s in the future."

Then-B.C. Liberal health minister George Abbott rejected that assertion. “There’s certainly not going to be any reduction in dollars,” he said.

At the time, Abbott added that 90 percent of all budgeted new spending during the next three years would be allocated to health care, bringing annual spending on health to $17.5 billion by 2011–12.

He has since been replaced by Kevin Falcon. He informed health authorities last month that they would have to find $360 million in savings because he wasn't going to increase the $8.9-billion allocation in this year's budget.  

Yesterday, the Fraser Health Authority's board of directora approved cutting elective surgeries by 10 to 15 percent to cope with "projected budget pressure $130 to $160 million".

The Mission Memorial Hospital emergency room will remain open, according to a Fraser Health Authority news release, thanks in part to pressure from the NDP Oppostion, including Leader Carole James.

Meanwhile, according to an NDP news release, the authority has informed the municipal governments in Burnaby, New Westminster, the Tri-Cities, Maple Ridge, and Abbotsford that there will be cuts to addiction counselling and to support services related to sexual abuse and family violence.

The HST will cost people's jobs in the restaurant industry and probably leave less money in the pockets of consumers.

Cuts to provincial health care could cost people's lives.

Which is the most egregious broken promise? Or do you even think these  constitute broken promises by the premier and the B.C. Liberals, considering that the budget has remained intact? Feel free to offer your comments below.

Comments

22 Comments

Van Resident

Aug 14, 2009 at 1:33pm

If the 1.6 billion from the feds for introducing the HST goes to pay for health costs this year, how will Gordo pay for next year?

Lets just hope he's not around long enough.

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Cris

Aug 14, 2009 at 6:59pm

If Mr. Campbell needs this tax, ( that he promised not to levy on taxpayers ) let him levy the tax on the loyal liberal followers and let the rest of us opt out! I'm pretty sure this tax is needed for another 29% raise for Mr. Campbell and his pals, for they will never work again after this fiasco!!!

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BlakeBlake

Aug 14, 2009 at 10:11pm

What we need is a new form of government, one that does not promote public manipulation, one that holds the government accountable for their decisions and one that punishes a government that bribes voters and breaks promises once they've secured power.

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visigoth

Aug 14, 2009 at 10:25pm

Seems like we are no the only province to adopt it. I am keeping track of the money our family gets from the province in with the gst rebates and I am still ahead on that front.

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VRN

Aug 14, 2009 at 10:28pm

Apparently the feds pay all the costs of administering the tax so really the provincial government can afford to cut their portion of the tax. A total HST of 10% would be reasonable. For health care it would make more sense for there to be more direct taxation like premiums could be raised and they should get all the taxes from alcohol and tobacco.

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bobby

Aug 14, 2009 at 10:34pm

these people are lying creeps ,their days are numbered one way or the other ,they are the most corrupt ,dispicable frauds this province has had to deal with in its history ,we're screwed for decades now,they've sold off all our resources andmisappropriatedour tax dollarsto pay for this rich pig party five ring circus the owelympigs,these people are themost vile deceitful low lifes on earth and they certainly do not have a mandate to do what they've done or are doing,theywon the election fraudulently and they will find out how most people feel rightbefore the games via ageneral strike and mass civil disobedience ,even the salmon are gone for christs sake ,these morons are crazy and campbell will findouthe is the most hated idiot in this province ...he best find another place to live

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Clive

Aug 14, 2009 at 11:22pm

All the salmon must have gone to Alberta; at least they don't have the HST there or even PST for that matter. I imagine a lot of people will be shopping and dining out over the border once this tax we can't afford comes into effect. Yes Gordon Campbell has got to be the most hated individual in B.C. history. How would you like to live with that moniker? He is a heartless uncaring monster and you can't believe a word that spews out of that vessel he calls a mouth. Notice how you saw his puss on the news constantly during the election campaign and now the heat is on he is never available for comment.

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I'm sorry...

Aug 15, 2009 at 1:38am

...but how does not running a deficit equate to health care cuts? I know the NDP and its supporters have a hard time with the concept of a 'budget', but this is one of the consequences of a public health care system. You make projections about how much it's going to cost for the year, and if it's too low you have to either spend more (run a deficit) or reduce the amount of service delivered. $17.5 billion is almost $3900 per year for every single person in the province! Service reductions are no fun, but there has to be a limit somewhere.

Nothing's free, money doesn't grow on trees (except the little smelly trees in Surrey basements), etc, etc. As much as it sucks to pay a new tax, it sucks even more when your tax money just goes to service interest on debt that you racked up 10 years before, because you weren't willing to pay all your bills back then.

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John H

Aug 15, 2009 at 2:35am

Eureka!....just figured out why Gordo made such an unpopular promise breaking move. It completely took attention away from his even bigger BC Rail, email computer storage fraud!

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d

Aug 15, 2009 at 8:07am

everyone is being ridiculous....we need tax to pay for health care, roads schools, etc...... everyone LOVES to complain...its getting tired...do you think they raise taxes and keep all the money themselves? its tough out there for everyone including governments and they need to keep the 'lights on'...if you dont approve of our unbelievably HIGH standard of living go move somewhere with lower taxes and see what you end up with..... sheez. trust me I am unemployed , looking for work and yet enjoy everything that I am lucky to have here in BC. I am thinkful.

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