Understanding the HST

Enough blame to stick on both leading parties

The deadline to mail in your HST ballot quickly approaches. Aug. 5 is the last day Elections BC will receive envelopes which means if you want to take part in this important decision, today is the day to mark your X. There is only word to truly describe the HST mess: unfortunate.

It’s unfortunate the Liberals so badly bungled rolling it out. It’s unfortunate the NDP has spearheaded a tax revolt without real alternatives. It’s unfortunate the political landscape of this province has been dominated by this discussion while much more pressing issues get neglected. Despite the political upheaval over this little acronym, it would be even more unfortunate if the province is forced back to the old tax system with a yes vote. The Liberals are guilty of misleading voters on the HST. The manner in which the Liberals got us to this point will not be forgotten come general election time. If that’s the time voters decide to make a change, so be it. Just as alarming as the Liberals’ path to this referendum is the NDP strategy. The electoral gamesmanship on display over the last year has been all-time. The party has taken every opportunity to trace back almost all issues to the low-hanging fruit of tax revolt, all the while providing very little in the way of solutions. Firing up the masses over increased taxation is easy, sound policy is hard. The best weather vane of this referendum may be the Green Party of BC – a party looking to be more pragmatic than political. Last month at their AGM, a distinct majority, including party leader Jane Sterk​​ and prominent local Greens, voted in favour of keeping the HST. One main reason is that the HST is a true consumption tax. Those who make more money will spend more money and in turn pay more tax. If that yellow envelope still sits unopened, now is your chance to weigh in. Yes or no, you can take comfort knowing you had your say.

– Black Press