The NDP has taunted the B.C. Liberals over the upcoming harmonized sales tax by highlighting comments made by former B.C. finance minister Carole Taylor on CTV.
NDP energy critic John Horgan raised the issue yesterday (April 26) during the legislature's question period.
“Let’s move to another powerful person, the former minister of finance, who said not only did the government mislead the public during the election, she said the following: 'This particular tax takes the tax off businesses. It takes $1.8 billion off of businesses and puts it onto consumers. So that shift is a shift that is ideological as well as factual'," Horgan said, quoting Taylor.
NDP MLA Doug Donaldson asked Finance Minister Colin Hansen whether he’d consider withdrawing a bill to eliminate the provincial sales tax--to pave the way for the HST--based on Taylor’s comments.
Hansen responded: “I agree with leading economists in Canada who actually say that the elimination of the provincial sales tax and the adaptation of the HST is the single biggest thing we can do as a government to create jobs and stimulate the economy.”
Elsewhere in the CTV interview, Taylor said that before the election, the B.C. Liberals said they wouldn't introduce the HST. "Then right after the election they decided to do it," she quickly added.
As the finance minister in the last B.C. Liberal government, Taylor opposed the introduction of the HST.
The HST is slated to go into effect on July 1, and would combine the seven-percent provincial sales tax with the five-percent federal GST in a new 12-percent levy. It will be extended over many services, such as tickets and professional services, that are not currently captured by the provincial sales tax.