Re: "HST like a bad joke that won't go away," editorial, Wednesday, May 16.
Unfortunately, the bad joke was played on all British Columbians when the HST was rejected. It is a classic case of politics trumping sound taxation policy.
With the reintroduction of the PST and GST, we will go back to a double book-keeping tax system with all of the confusing rules and exemptions. Individuals on low income will lose their HST rebates. We will have given up on a tax model that is supported by most economists.
It is unfortunate that the opponents of the HST could not see beyond their hatred of Gordon Campbell and the Liberal government. As I recall, the B.C. government was committed to reducing the HST to 10 per cent.
Before too long, that option may look like a bargain. In the meantime, the NDP will likely assume power just as revenues begin to decline, partly due to a new tax structure and confusing rules.
The investment community will pull back and job creation will become problematic. At the same time, the NDP will have little or no appetite for controlling government spending. With billions needed to meet the collective demands of teachers, nurses and civil servants, not to mention unsustainable levels of healthcare spending and public sector pensions, where will government revenue be found?
At least the HST was a reasonable source of income for financing of government services while at the same time providing a tax environment that encouraged business investment.
The way things are going, within three years we are likely to see annual deficits of four to five billion dollars, a loss of our provincial AAA credit rating and an overall tax regime that will be extracting much more from all of us than was ever contemplated under the HST.
I certainly hope that in the future the NDP brain trust and their supporters will display more insight into economic policy than they have demonstrated in their understanding and treatment of the HST issue.
Harvey Grigg, Coquitlam
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