THUNDER BAY – British Columbia has voted to scrap the HST. With 54.74 percent of voters in the special referendum voting to scrap the HST it represents a serious challenge to the province’s Liberal government which brought in the tax. The Finance Minister has announced plans to re-instate the Provincial Sales tax and Goods and Services Taxes as they were before.
An action plan has been established to guide the transition process and help ensure an effective and orderly transition from the HST to the PST plus GST system in B.C. The PST will be reinstated at seven per cent with all permanent PST exemptions. The Province may make some common sense administrative improvements to streamline the PST.
The transition period is expected to take a minimum of 18 months, consistent with the report of the independent panel on the HST. During this period, the provincial portion of the HST will remain in place at seven per cent. Eligible lower-income British Columbians will continue to receive the B.C. HST Credit until the PST is re-implemented. The B.C. HST credit will then be replaced by the re-implemented PST credit.
The Ontario NDP say that the vote in British Columbia should send a message to the Liberals in Ontario. “BC voters have spoken out against an arrogant and out-of-touch Liberal government, and Ontario voters will have a similar opportunity on October 6th”, said York South-Weston NDP candidate Paul Ferreira. “Liberals in BC and Ontario have proven that they’re not listening to families struggling to pay the bills,” continued Ferreira. “Today BC voters made it loud and clear the HST is a bad deal. Voters in Ontario will have that opportunity in the upcoming election.”
The Ontario Liberals have stated that the Harmonization of the federal and provincial sales taxes in the province have stabilized the economy. “Almost 92,000 jobs created since bringing in HST. That’s leadership, and hard work by Ontarians. Let’s keep moving forward,” is the message sent out to Liberal supporters by the party’s online email.
The Ontario Progressive Conservatives state, “Today BC families had their say on their government’s attack on their pocketbook. In 41 days Ontario families will get their own chance to choose between more taxes from Tax Man Dalton McGuinty, or change with Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party who will give families relief.
“While Tax Man Dalton McGuinty has spent the last eight years hitting Ontario families with his so-called health tax, HST tax grab, eco-taxes and skyrocketing hydro bills, Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party will give families relief”.