B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen responds to concern over HST charge on massage therapy

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      The B.C. government has responded to criticism that an increased cost for massage therapy under the harmonized sales tax is unfair.

      During a press conference yesterday (June 7), New Democrat health critic Adrian Dix claimed the 12-percent HST will raise the fee for an average $88 session by around $6, limiting affordability.

      Dix highlighted the need those with chronic illnesses like multiple sclerosis have for massage therapy.

      Finance Minister Colin Hansen acknowledged that the new tax—a blend of the provincial sale tax and federal GST—will increase the cost for some goods and services when it goes into effect on July 1.

      “That’s why we’re providing a B.C. HST credit that will be paid quarterly to over 1.1 million low- and modest-income British Columbians,” Hansen said.

      “We are also providing income tax relief by increasing the basic personal amount tax credit to $11,000. This means up to $80 back in the pockets of individuals and up to $160 for those claiming spousal credits.”

      “It’s important to note British Columbians will not pay any HST on prescription drugs; most health, medical and dental services, including visits to the doctor or dentist, chiropractic services and physiotherapy services; and certain other medical devices,” Hansen added.



      Michael L

      Jun 8, 2010 at 3:15pm

      Wow, Hansen is justifying every tax increase with a tax credit. Can he be certain that his hst credit will cover all expenses? Are people with disabilities or chronic problems going to get more of a credit that is proportional to how much therapy s/he gets? What a load of crock. Right...this credit will justify everything, won't it?

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      Bruce McAra

      Jun 8, 2010 at 3:38pm

      The right thing to do was to lower the rate on the provincial portion of the HST as was done when the GST was introduces and when other provinces (except for Ontario) joined the HST.

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      Jun 8, 2010 at 3:57pm

      I voted Liberals last election because I felt they had the British Columbians best interest at heart. I am one of the many people that will never buy the comment that the Liberals decided on the HST after the election. I know that the Liberals knew before the election but realized that they would never win the election if they stated before they were going to introduce the HST. So no comment no flyers no fact will change my mind that that THE LIBERALS lied. They can defend it all they can but at the end they lied. Did Gordon Campbell (who I respect before now I know he is a lier) think that the people of BC would buy his vain explanations?
      Now with the majority of BC (up to 90% are against the HST) do the Liberals really believe anybody cares what the reason are behind the HST. If it was introduced with the majority of the people aware and agreeing to it one thing but to introduce it and pretend that we cant do nothing about it is another. The fight HST is showing the govt that we are not going to sit down and not do anything.
      Now the govt want to have a referendum that will take over a year to have one and waste 20 million dollars doing it. Why not have another vote and let your members vote they way they want to? We will not be waiting for referendum because I strongly believe that a recall will be happening and there is a strong possibility that not only it will work but getting seven MLA recalled is very realistic.
      Although the argument and economists can stay that is good for the ecomony because in paper it may be but in reality it is not. Big business will save money therefore there will be more jobs in their industry and products will cost less. How many products do they have that the average British Columbians will buy? There is no prove or valid research that states product will cost less to us.
      By creating more jobs in big business it will also kill more jobs in other businesses. An example is that I usually eat out three days a week and now with the HST I will be eating out probably once a week. Where I usually leave a tip of 15-20% I know will be leaving a tip of only 10% flat before taxes. The servers will now make less tip therefore look for different opinions as work or the employees will be forced to pay more per hour . By raising the wages to the server prices will have to go up to pay for this when prices go up less people go out to eat therefore less workers are required.
      HST will definitely push a black market just like it did to Greece and look what happened to them. There legit companies that cant take cash will also be forced to lay off employees because it cant compete with anyone that is offering a 12% discount. So the government will be forced to raise taxes because I am sure they will be making less revenue. With the HST a lot more people will have to look at options when spending money. More travelers will be driving to the US to fly from there airport as well as changing holiday plans. I was going to Victoria for my holiday now I am going to Birth Bay all because of the HST.
      This govt will be following the same demise as the Socreds in the next election especially if the NDP get rid of Carol James and get a real leader. Gordon Campbell stop telling big business that you are not going to back down when you may not have a choice with 5000 anti HST people starting the recall in the fall and guess what you are first.
      Gordon Campbell and Colin Hanson you better start listening or keep being arrogant and kiss your job goodbye.
      An ex Liberal supporter.

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      try again, Colin

      Jun 8, 2010 at 7:55pm

      It amazes me that the Libs are so proud of the fact that, after 9 years of Campbell policies, 1/3 of BC voters are poor enough to get HST rebates.
      And we in the not-so-poor households should be happy to get back 'up to' $160 in tax credits next year to compensate us for $1600 to $2500 per year in extra HST?

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      Jun 8, 2010 at 9:52pm


      You owe me money. Thats not a a good thing.

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      First pay me for administrative costs

      Jun 9, 2010 at 11:28am

      Hey Hansen. Where is the money you are going to pay me for the administrative costs of handling your tax credit? I have to goto the bank, deposit the cheque, and wait for it to clear. And in the mean time, you get to keep my money, interest free?

      This is total bullsh*t. Why not tax us 100% and give us a refund, you moron?

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      Jun 9, 2010 at 11:30am

      What about all of us who are not low or modest income? Are you out to screw us now? I am in these categories -- so you are now out to screw me because I succeeded too much financially? Who are you to decide how much tax I should have to pay?

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      Jun 9, 2010 at 12:39pm

      I can hardly wait for all the tax rebates that are coming my way. Covering the HST, increase in fuel coming July1(carbon tax) increase in medical premiums, increase in Hydro rates, the list goes on and on. Bring on this huge tax rebate to cover all these increases.

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      Fitness, Pilates, Yoga, Personal Training

      Jun 10, 2010 at 6:54pm

      Why are physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments exempt of taxes, but all the things that might potentially keep you out of those offices now cost more: fitness, Pilates, Yoga, Personal Training... Why is massage therapy also on the HST list? How do they draw a distinction between therapeutic exercise and physiotherapy??? It's completely unfair.

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      Jun 23, 2010 at 10:47am

      A tax on registered massage therapy is not only irrational but immoral. The government should not be profiting from my pain. The fact is these people could care less about right or wrong, truth or lies, it is all about money, more money for their rich friends and less money for you and me.

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