HST referendum brings out critics of Liberals and NDP

Many are concerned about having to pay back the $1.6 billion should we vote yes to extinguish the HST [“Dix says HST based on a lie”, June 9-16]. So far, the B.C. Liberals have only taken a $600-million part of the bribe from the Harper government.

Why should we, the citizens of B.C., be required to pay back money given to us for instituting a tax that we did not want, did not ask for, and had imposed upon us without proper discussion or debate? We, as Canadians through the Harper government, already own that money. Should we, as British Columbians, have to pay it again?

The B.C. Liberals made a huge mistake with the HST, and must bear the responsibility for their actions. It is not up to the citizens of British Columbia to pay for B.C. Liberal mistakes. Perhaps some of the B.C. Liberals’ supporters and corporate friends could chip in and help their political party honour their debt to our society. After all, it’s only $600 million.

> Alan MacKinnon / Nanaimo


Is ex-premier Bill Vander Zalm trying to slash services that taxes fund, or is he allying himself with the NDP, which is using this referendum as a proxy for its failed tax-businesses-until-they-bleed-and-die policies of the 1990s?

It was Vander Zalm’s disastrous end as premier in 1991 that led to the destruction of the Socreds and power going to the NDP, giving B.C. the “lost decade” of the 1990s. He talks about “the people”. However, “the people” (one majority) want lower taxes and “the people” (another majority) also want services such as health care, schools, and police.

Demands on government always exceed the available resources. We elect politicians to make choices, often tough ones. Californians use “direct democracy” (propositions), and it is a disaster. They get their reduced taxes, but have had to close schools and set free dangerous convicts because of prison overcrowding.

Only people can pay taxes. There are no magic corporations to tax. Higher business taxes, especially on smaller companies, can only come from higher prices (in effect, just hidden taxes), lower wages, and fewer staff.

Business activities generate other substantial government revenues, through fees, licences, royalties, payroll taxes, and so on. And business profits of domestic companies. Taxes are also paid when profits are paid out to shareholders, including to our pension funds.

As always, it is an issue of balance: who to tax and how much. Taxes are needed, but not when they cause more harm than good.

Consumption taxes like the HST are far and away the fairest. The wealthy consume more, and pay more. On balance, the poor pay almost nothing, especially with the low-income rebates and exemptions on food and residential rents.

So, we have a choice to make: accept the HST, which will fairly and efficiently help fund the services that we want, or kill the HST and, with it, services and jobs.

The choice is ours. And if it’s the latter, we better not whine about cuts to services!

> Ian MacLeod / Richmond




Jun 16, 2011 at 8:24am

Hey Ian, if the tax was going to service British Columbians I don't have a problem. It isn't. It's going to Corporations bottom line. Now we will be faced with user fees and additional taxes disguised as "carbon tax" etc. We are now going to be taxed as never before, our education systems are short changed, our medical plan is under attack by American Healthcare Insurance companies, P3's are going to force our grandchildrens grandchildrens to pay for them and the list goes on!