HST: Business Gets It Up Front; Consumers Get It in the End

HST supporters think those of us who oppose the Hated Sales Tax just don’t get it. We don’t seem to understand  how much the tax will help business and, theoretically and ultimately BC’s economy.  We just don’t get it.

I agree.  We just don’t get it …at least not the same way business does.

This past week, the Smart Tax Alliance, a compendium of 40 BBC businesses, joined the government’s efforts to keep the HST. The group says the tax is helping businesses save money, cut costs and expand their operations.

We do get that. We understand that’s true for many businesses and corporations.

 But at what cost?

 Whatever happened to the good old days when companies financed their expansion and growth through increased sales and revenues and through profits  reinvested in the company … not just pocketed in ever-increasing excessive amounts and bonuses to the top executives? 

 And not by forcing public taxpayers to absorb an extra $1.3 Billion in taxes every year … AT LEAST $350 per family … to subsidize businesses.

The Smart Tax Alliance points out the HST has reduced costs; cut red tape; and,  increased revenues. Alliance co-chair Mike Jagger, on CKNW Saturday, proudly pointed to the fact that, with HST savings, his firm Provident Security had bought two new vehicles, added two more jobs and is expanding its business.

  He did not say his prices have come down for consumers, though, and he did not acknowledge that what his company is saving with the HST has been passed on as an EXTRA burden to other taxpayers.

It may be smart, from a corporate point of view, but how fair is it really for a company, let’s say,  that measures revenues in millions to enjoy an EXTRA tax break at the cost of single parent families, young couples struggling to buy their first home, single people unable to even afford an unshared apartment or seniors struggling to make ends meet?

What the Tax Alliance doesn’t seem to realize is that the HST is not a tax break: it is a tax SHIFT … from business to individuals.

Over the next few weeks, the public will see and hear Smart Tax Alliance ads, featuring “financial professionals” saying the HST helps business re-invest and acts as the “engine for economic growth”, cutting administrative costs and headaches.

We get it.

 But all this is accomplished … not by getting rid of the costs and headaches …but by passing them on to the rest of us….many, many people with much less money than the companies that now get the savings.  How is that justifiable, especially in a province that was already boasting BEFORE the addiitonal HST savings, that BC had some of the lowest corporate taxes in North America?

I suspect  running ads by corporate types benefitting from or supporting the HST will only convince a lot more people that corporations are getting still more breaks and  benefits up front, while the rest of us are  paying the price  ….  and getting it in the end.

What’s next?  Income tax cuts for millionaires,  raising  taxes on the rest of us to make up for that … and then justifying it  all with ads having the rich  tell us how much they’re benefitting from their additonal savings, buying boats, new cars and getaway condos in Whistler … all helping grow the economy, of course?

We get it: it’s good when business expands and grows. 

 Thousands upon thousands of companies have done that by coming up with great products, competitive pricing and successful marketing …  without needing subsidized operating costs by reducing their fair share of taxes and loading those onto the backs of their customers, when we buy lunch,  get a haircut or just try to survive BC’s high cost of living.

Get it, Smart Alliance?

Harv Oberfeld

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32 Responses to HST: Business Gets It Up Front; Consumers Get It in the End

  1. BillP says:

    Is that the MAXWELL Smart alliance?

  2. rye says:

    My family is living on the poverty line even though I am working 2 jobs. This tax shift has done nothing to help us. It has increased costs to all goods and services we buy. I am a paramedic and save lives on a daily basis but yet I can barely keep my own family alive while big business continues to rake in record setting profits every quarter. This tax will be the downfall of BC’s struggling economy.

    I am reminded of an old saying every time the tax collector game around, “You have taxed us until we bleed and have turned us to stone and you cannot get any blood from a stone.”

  3. Pete Q says:

    Good post.

    I call the HST the reverse robin hood tax. It takes from the middle class, working class and poor and gives to the rich – i.e. big business.

    By remarkable coincidence, guess which of those 4 groups donates the most to the BC Liberal party who wants the HST?

    (Response: Great analogy. Wish I had thought of that! h.o.)

  4. istvan says:

    Great post Harvey.I expect or hope that Ed and Jerry have some comments to add to this.Thanks.

  5. Mo says:

    Excellent post!
    This kind of analysis is what we need to counter the “Smart ASS Tax Alliance”

    There is not one small business owner that i have spoke with who is isn’t pissed off with the HST. It is hurting them big time. Restaurants are also hurting.

    So who is it good for? We are starting to see the picture.

  6. Crankypants says:

    I think that this report just released by the government’s panel may have been guilty of using selective information. According to them, the tax burden on consumers is about $1.3 billion per year, and based on a provincial population of about 4 million people, works out to $325.00 per year for each man, woman and child. How anyone can come up with a figure of an impact of only $350.00 per year for the average family sounds like some type of creative manipulation of figures. What constitutes an average family? Is it based on the average number of people per household, the average income per household or a number picked out of a hat?

    This report also stated that the province could look forward to a creation of 24,000 jobs in a 10 year period. Thus, the 10 year take of taxes from consumers of $13 billion($1.3 billion X 10 years) to create 24,000 jobs works out to $541,666.67 of taxation for each job created. If the government were a business trying to get a loan based on this business model, they would be shown the door in a heartbeat.

    But, I suspect the true numbers are much worse than this. In the news release of July 23,2009 by the government, they stated that the HST would remove over $2 billion in costs from BC businesses. Maybe the savings to businesses were exaggerated, as politicians are prone to do, but this release is still on the government’s website, so who am I to question their claims. That translates to a $500.00 per year impact on each man, woman and child that resides in BC and makes the cost of those 24,000 jobs a whopping $833,333.33 each over the ten year span. And, these figures don’t include the costs of HST rebates to the 1.1 million people that the government keeps bragging about. Also, if the report is correct in stating that the government has actually collected hundreds of millions more than the revenue neutral threshold, the consumers are getting hosed.

    The HST must be voted out of existence, and the sooner, the better.

    (Response: That cost-per-job figure is eye-opening. I haven’t seen anyone in the media question the HST that way. The should. And I know media people read this blog, so hopefully at least one will step up and put that figure to the finance minister or the Premier. h.o)

  7. Michael Jagger says:

    A few comments about your comments about my comments on CKNW…

    I think it is important to note, that while I talked about the fact that the HST has helped reduce the administrative burden in our company & has allowed us to add two new positions (as well as purchase two new vehicles), those savings were not reliant on the rate of the HST or on ‘creating an extra burden to other taxpayers’.

    In fact, towards the end of my interview, I thought I made that point (although maybe I wasn’t very clear) … It is the structure of the HST, particularly in contrast to the PST, that offers the savings & efficiencies. The HST rules make sense. The PST did not. We no longer waste time trying to figure them out and arguing with Government Auditors who themselves could not come to an agreement on what the rules meant.

    To the extent that a reduction in the HST, or any other changes to it, could be made to lessen the impact to consumers – I’m all for it.

    I think that that is a big opportunity that is being missed right now. Instead of focusing anger about how the HST was brought in, or framing the entire debate about whether to keep it or scrap it, I think that the discussion should be about how to improve it.

    As a small business owner, the PST was a convoluted mess of epic proportions. There was nothing good about it. It only served to add confusion and waste time, money and resources that are in such scarce supply… especially in a small business.

    98% of businesses in BC are small businesses and BC has more people employed by small businesses than any other Province. This is not about money being “pocketed in ever-increasing excessive amounts and bonuses to the top executives”. It is about reducing waste and fostering an environment that encourages job growth, not hindering it.

    The HST is a better tax structure. It is creating opportunities and helping us grow. Growth means more jobs.

    It may not be perfect, but it is certainly far superior to the old PST.

    (Response: Thanks. Hoipe you noticed I did not dwell on the way it was brougfht in either but on its impact. My father was a businessman and I was appalled at all the government paperwork and forms and calculations he had to regularly do … stuff that took up a lot of time and costs … and probably ended up in one of thousands of government file cabinets, not even looked at. Although they always cashed his cheques! So I am sympathetic to business on that one…but that can be solved with a much simpler PST system under which business, like the rest of us, pays their fair share ..and does not enjoy a tax holiday at the cost of others who can much less afford it. By the waym, if you would like to provide charts on what your company charged for services before HST and how much they come down as a result of the pass-through savings the government told us would happen as a result of the HST, I will happily publish those figures. h.o)

  8. Wendy says:

    The Smart Tax Alliance even tried to stop VanderZalm and the anti-HST people from appearing at the town hall meetings to educate the public on the pro’s of the HST.

    They are a joke and you are correct Harvey – the people of BC must remember this is a tax shift from corporations, who are already getting the lowest tax rates in North America, onto the backs of consumers. It is a bad tax.

    The Liberals better return to the old system or remove everything that was previously exempt or they will lose the next election.

    (Response: I think you are wrong on this one. Are you getting your business groups mixed up? The Smart Tax Alliance is fairly new (last summer) and i have seen nothing in the news saying they tried to stop people from appearing at town hall meetings. h.o)

  9. D. M. johnston says:

    “If you tell a HST lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

    The HST lie can be maintained only for such time as the Province can shield the people from the political and economic consequences of the HST lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the Province to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the HST lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the Provincial government.”

    I know, I know, this was said some 75 years ago, by a not a very pleasant chap, but he is considered the father of modern propaganda.

    I think the quote well works in BC and with the current government.

  10. Lew says:

    I think most of us get the fact that one tax is simpler, and less an administrative burden to business entities than two, especially given the convoluted exemption regime inherent in each.

    But replacing the previous model with the HST, which taxes far more categories and gives the extra tax paid by individuals to business goes far beyond streamlining. It is clearly a government subsidy to big business, and one for which big business has lobbied for some time. Many small businesses, especially in certain discrete sectors do not enjoy the same benefits.

    I am surprised that the Americans have not challenged this under NAFTA or the Softwood Lumber Agreement, as much as I would hate to see that happen. Remember, the “noted economist” the BC Liberals trotted out to support their imposition of this tax just happened to be an individual with a major stake in the forest products industry that benefits most by this arrangement and who was a director of one of the the companies financing the BC Liberal election campaigns to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. Just a coincidence of course.

    If the government were to reward these forest industry companies by direct subsidy rather than the HST, we’d see a challenge immediately.

    (Response: The NAFTA point is interesting. Perhaps they haven’t raised the HST “subsidy” issue because sales tax relief province or state wide is not directed at a particular industry or business? h.o)

  11. mariner says:

    One other point to remember too – is the credibility of the people who say the HST is the best thing since the invention of sliced bread.

    For my money, I would question the validity of Mike Jaggers comments. Everyone has their own take on the HST. It does not change the fact that this is a massive tax shift onto the backs of taxpayers that are already burdened with a huge tax load. Businesses want to put more onto the tax payers – it just shows that their arguements are full of holes and they think only of themselves and their pocket books and profits.

    Let’s face it, it is businesses that fund and promote the BC Liberal party for the most part and they obviously have the most to gain.

    Trying out the “I didn’t make myself clear” really is an oxymoron and the fact that you (Mike Jagger) endorse the extra taxation on the backs of the poor, the old, the sick,the young and the average British Columbian – trying to make a “HONEST LIVING” , speaks volumes of your own selfish interests.

    So, credibility by business owners – there is none as far as this tax goes. And after all, it was introduced, initially promoted and is still promoted by one lie after another, to the point that everything the government says is now taken as complete and utter fabrication. The BC Liberals earned that reputation by their ten year reign of Dishonesty, Deception and Deceit – and nothing has changed with Clark now leading the BC Liberals.

    (Response: I think you are being overly partisan and harsh. Jagger NEVER indicated he personally wanted to “endorse the extra taxation on the backs of the poor, the old, the sick,the young and the average British Columbian”. That was my interpretation of the impact of the tax in general. Jagger said, in fact, he personally would favor a lesser impact on consumers. h.o)

  12. kootcoot says:

    As to the NAFTA aspects mentioned above, I must point out that according to Kevin O’Delerious of Dragons and O’Leary/Lang Exchange, the USA will be instituting a VAT nationwide of about 5% within about 18 months, needless to say Ms. Lang disagrees. But if that were the case there goes the NAFTA recourse.

    Someone once said that by relieving the richer of tax burden you do eventually create jobs, because eventually they have to hire someone to carry their money around. However in the wired world the rich don’t even need people for that as they can shift billions off shore to tax havens at the click of a mouse. So all we can hope for is odd jobs scrubbing the hulls of their yachts, driving and changing the oil in their limos, and serving them at their destination resorts, mostly at minimum wage and feel lucky to have a dormitory complete with roof to share with the rest of the field hands.

    Or perhaps those who get educated can get a chair at a institution of higher learning. Of course more and more it will be necessary to promulgate the agenda of the elite as even at public institutions chairs are being endowed by special interest groups like the Koch brother’s small business group, to pick up the ever declining share the declining tax base can support.

    It is absolutely criminal that college students in BC apparently contribute more in tuition fees than all the corporate activity in BC does in taxes. This also leaves most students with such a debt load that embarking on a career in public service or pursuing social justice is virtually out of the question, because those paths won’t relieve the debt load before retirement or death.

  13. Michael Jagger says:

    re: “So I am sympathetic to business on that one…but that can be solved with a much simpler PST system under which business, like the rest of us, pays their fair share ..and does not enjoy a tax holiday at the cost of others who can much less afford it.”

    In my view, that’s what the HST has already provided… a much simpler system. That’s why I would welcome a reduction in the HST and/or changes to lessen the impact to consumers. I think that that is the most productive way forward. It would give businesses the admin benefits & input tax credits to encourage re-investment/job creation and serve to reduce the short term impact on regular consumers.

    The HST has already been implemented to make life easier for those at the far end of the low-income line (see http://www.supporthst.ca/video.php?id=22) … I think that we should be asking the government for adjustments to increase the number of people who can say that HST is helping them out – even in the immediate short term. My fear is that by pushing for a vote against the HST in its entirety, we will all pay a much steeper price than any of us have bargained for.

    re: your comment/question/offer on our prices since HST…

    With a few exceptions, we have not reduced our prices since HST implementation. Based on our understanding of our clients & our service delivery model, we decided that the best use of the savings we realized as a result of the HST transition was in investing in new trucks and new jobs. Our business is all about speed, efficiency and service… we elected to spend the money on things that would improve all three.

    That was a business decision and it is one that our clients will judge us on. If a price break is more important, they will tell us &/or simply cancel their service. If we do not keep our clients happy, we will not be in business.

    The specifics of how we applied the savings is all about our particular situation. If I was leading a different business, in a different market, where price was the primary differentiator I would likely make a different choice.

    The HST helps BC businesses save money (and waste far less of it). As a result, those businesses are free to choose where those savings are best spent. The decision to add jobs, raise wages, cut prices or anything else with the money is theirs to make.

    Ultimately though, it is the consumers who will make the final call as to whether or not a company has made the right choice. Business is far too competitive. If consumers feel they get better value for a better price somewhere else, they will go there. They will vote with their dollars. Businesses who choose poorly will be left behind… quickly.

    (Response: Thanks for your frankness about pricing and contributing to discussions on here. Although I have been open in my opposition to the HST (nice to be retired and to be able to outright tale a personal stand and say so! 🙂 feel free to keep responding on here and and address points made by those who raise issues critical of the tax and its impact. Makes for good public discussion. h.o)

  14. morry says:

    There are many small business owners who are NOT on Mr. Jagger’s side.


    (Response: I suspect “one size does not fit all” with the tax, like any law. Some clearly do well, others are faring worse. h.o)

  15. bonedog says:

    Thanks Harv for the investigative journalist breakdown of what is really going on. I don’t expect the truth from mainstream corporate media.
    Great job.

    (Response: Clearly I am a consumer and not a business person… apart from my RRSP holdings 🙂 h.o

  16. Fred says:

    this is such a funny thread . . .

    I am almost tempted to vote against the HST just so the governments budget can get whacked and then we can get rid of a few thousand civil servants, teachers and a pile of useless government programs that service the rent-seeking Victim class.

  17. G.J.W. says:

    The HST is wonderful for big business. We pay for their new vehicles, renovations for their places of business, and all kinds of goodies. That’s who the HST was designed for. In all the time of the HST, I haven’t saved a dime. My cost of living has gone through the roof. Not one penny has TRICKLED down, every thing has trickled UP, big time.

    No-one looks at the big picture. Our hydro will go up 53%. Our food costs have gone up 10%, and will go higher yet. The asinine price of gasoline. Heat costs have gone up. My house insurance went up, $140.00, for what? Nothing has changed. Condo fees up. Trailer park pad rentals went up. There are very few goods and services, we are not damned well not taxed for. The HST was just another BC Liberal scam. To thieve from the people, to give to big business. I KNOW how much the HST has set me back. I had to even sell my car. I now run out of money before the end of the month. I used to have a little money, to go out for dinner. But, no longer can I have a treat of any kind. I am forced to give my money to big business.

    BC is a province of natural resources. The HST does not benefit the BC people, what-so-ever. Follow the money. Who’s pockets get filled?

    (Response: Your reference to the big picture is oh, so true! When various entities (government or companies or even charities) try to get MORE money out of you, they often say it’s “only” another dollar a day or so. Yes …but EVERYONE is adding “only” another dollar a day to our living costs whenever they can. And if you add in a dollar a day from increased HST costs, municipal taxes, regional government fees, school taxes, Hydro, transit, ICBC, cable, telephone, internet, medicines, groceries, fuel oil etc etc…it’s easy to see why so many are struggling. While those that impose the extra burden say… Don’t exaggerate. It’s only “a dollar a day”. h.o.

  18. G.J.W. says:

    The other bad news I just read is. Harper is forcing the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty oil tankers from China, into our beautiful coastal seas. Harper and Campbell were working on this for quite some time. They are also working on, drilling oil and gas wells off our coast. A 6.1 earthquake in the Queen Charlotte’s, doesn’t even register over those pair of idiots greed.

    Campbell and Harper are a brain dead pair of twits. Enbridge has the worst record of pipeline bursts, in the world. When China has a tanker spill, BC will become a polluted wasteland. Port Kitimat, it is said, has the most dangerous seas in the world. The pipeline bursts in Michigan and Edmonton, have been disasters that are impossible to clean up. The Gulf and the Valdez spills, have taught those two greedy turnip brains nothing.

    Rafe has written about this on his site.

  19. Wilson says:

    Oberfeld you have to help me out here. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed but you said…

    “And not by forcing public taxpayers to absorb an extra $1.3 Billion in taxes every year … AT LEAST $350 per family … to subsidize businesses.”

    I don’t see how being forced to pay taxes on selective services that USED to be PST free amounts to a subsidy for big business. They don’t get that extra money that we pay in taxes it all ends up going to the bottomless hole in Victoria we call government.

    Now I did just finish reading the HST report and it says that business now pays $ 730 million LESS in taxes because of the HST…..

    So we are paying $ 1.3 Billion more into the Government, subtract the $ 730 Million that Business is saving and the Government ends up with net increased revenues between $ 500 – $ 600 Million. Ironically this is now the amount of additional money we are told that the not so revenue neutral HST is really bringing into the Government.

    I think it is fair to say that taxpayers pay more and business pays less but I don’t think it is fair to suggest that ALL of the extra money we pay is a business subsidy. Clearly close to half a billion will got into Government. How much did the health budget increase this year over last ? I bet it was more then $ 6 bucks. Anyways Oberfeld, I too am just trying to keep it real.

    (Response: My understanding (and you don’t think the ex-Premier and Finance Minister would lie, do you?) is that the HST was to be “revenue neutral” … raising not an extra penny for the government. The independent panel says the EXTRA take is $3.1 Billion …so if it is not going to government, it must be going to business, right? Of course, it now look like that won’t exactly be the case…there WILL be more in it for government (it will take a long time to find out exactly how much) . However, the BULK of the extra take from consumers IS going to make up for taxes that used to be paid by business … a public subsidy for corporations if I’ve ever seen one. h.o)

  20. Crankypants says:

    First of all, I’d like to applaud Michael Jagger’s gumption to step up and defend his views on the HST. Appearing on a radio station that is HST friendly is one thing, but stepping up to the plate on a forum that is the total opposite is admiral.

    We, the great unwashed get the arguments he puts forth about dealing with one sales tax rather than two has to be more efficient for his company and most likely, many others. I’m not so sure I buy the argument he puts forth about interpretation of taxation brought forth by the provincial government’s PST police versus those that the GST/HST police are germane to the discussion because there are always disputes about tax laws and the interpretation of them, regardless of which branch of government oversees them.

    I do have some questions for Mr. Jagger that I think are important to this discussion. First of all, when he decided to start up his company, did he not explore all the tax implications he would face? I suspect that he was able to obtain his tax obligations from both the federal government regarding the GST and from their provincial counterparts regarding the PST. Did he and his accountant accept the rules as they were set out, or attempt to find loopholes that led to less than favoured results?

    Before I go any further, I would like to state that my opposition to the HST has very little to do with the way it was brought in, but a lot to do with its impact on my wallet and those of the other 4 million citizens of BC.

    The HST is extracting anywhere from $1.3 billion to well over $2 billion from individuals wallets in the form of taxation per year. It doesn’t really matter which amount one chooses, the bottom line is that the citizens of BC have that much less to spend on consumer goods. Most small businesses rely on customers walking through their doors and buying something, be it a product or a service. If the consumer has less money to spend because of a tax policy, less will be spent to keep these small businesses afloat. And when economic activity is stifled in such a manner, it will have a negative effect on businesses that depend on consumer spending as well as businesses that depend on the spending of businesses that depend on the spending of their customers.

    The HST may provide a bump for many businesses in the short term, but it will eventually prove to be an albatross on many business ventures, and the majority of them will have been classified as “SMALL”. In the meantime, the multi-nationals will be laughing all the way to bank, so to speak.

    (Response: I’m happy to be able to providee this “people”s forum, where both siees can explain their position on this important decision. I personally don’t like the tax for its tax-shift impact on many, many people who have a lot less money than those whose tax burden is being relieved, and I agree with your views on the HST. But I have to admit Jagger has raised some very interesting points in advocating for the HST. h.o)

  21. The HST is way to complicated for the common voter.

    Trust the Clark government to fully explain, in minute detail, how the HST is actually benefitting us.

    I understand that the common voter barely has a grade 12 education, and lives pay cheque-to-pay cheque.

    The fact that the masses are too ignorant and vulgar to do as they are told is not the fault of the government.

    The BC Liberals have done so much for us, ridding us of the disasters that the NDP brought.

    I may be a little elitist, but if the HST is rejected in the referendum, it should be declared null and void.

    The average BC voter doesn’t give a damn about what is right, only thinks with his/her pocket.

    The HST is the perfect form of taxation. All pay the same rate. Given my opinion, I’d abolish income tax and completely replace it with a 20-25% consumer tax.

    These are difficult times, and the common voter should leave it to there better educated and better informed peers on this issue; our economy is very dependent upon the choice of the masses.

    Do you really want to risk sending BC down the road of the 1990s? Do you really want statues and portraits of Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx all over the place?

    Rest assured, the common person should trust in the Clark government, as it knows what is best for us.

    Gordon Campbell is gone and history. It’s time to move on.

    (Response: Could it not also be argued that the average company doesn’t give a damn about what is good or bad, but only about linnig their pockets? As for “the common voter” …who is that? People who disagree with your point of view? And are valid voters just those who agree? h.o)

  22. mariner says:

    Sean in Vancouver:

    All your talking and you still have a lot of trouble with your spelling.

    Just maybe you should be heeding your own advice and leave the comments to people who are better educated and more informed than you obviously are.

    (Response: Now, now … ALL views are welcome on here. Although I do try to ferret out name-calling, insults and other diatribes that lower the quality of the discussion. And let’s face it…I’m the only one who’s always correct, anyway. 🙂 h.o

  23. Steve says:

    Sean, of course I am going to put my family first. And I do not think my family needs to fund another corporate tax shift when BC already had some of the lowest corporate taxes going.

    I do not think $580 million to put a sunroof on BC Place was a good idea when my son’s school has more portables than classrooms in the original school.

    I also think we need to look after our elderly, our ill, and our children. I like to think it means I have a little bit of decency, empathy, and other values I like to think separate us from the animal kingdom and make this a better world to live in.

    Extremism on either side of the political spectrum has never worked out for the citizens.

  24. D. M. Johnston says:

    Please, PLEASE send the economy down the road of the 1990’s again, I was making good money then!

    Not in the Campbell years though, they are the years the locusts hath ate.

    The people who I see making big money are the wealthy, who have had large tax reductions and construction companies, who are getting to build over-engineered, grossly over-priced government funded mega-projects.

    I’m sorry, the 1990’s were good to me, but now one must be a friend of the government to make money in this province.

  25. kootcoot says:

    I’m not trying to be “personal” here, but either Sean is making a poor effort at satire, or he is insultingly patronizing to we unfortunate ignorant rabble!

    As to:

    Gordon Campbell is gone and history. It’s time to move on.

    Yep, the old Gordo is “gone and history” and if we weren’t all so damn uneducated, petty and ignorant we would be patient and give the NEW GORDO IN A SKIRT (that even sports a smile that doesn’t come off as either a smirk or a leer) a chance to finish destroying what is left of British Columbia!

  26. larben says:

    Well kootcoot, we know your going to vote for the socialists, because you certainly aren’t going to vote for the Conservatives, and your hatred of Clark is legendary, and if you think you might convince me differently, forget it. I’d sooner die!

    (Response: Hey, it’s only a blog discussion. Hope you’re life is better than that! 🙂 h.o.

  27. Larry says:

    My life is great, steadily employed, though not enough money, but then, there never is. I do tend to get abusive of those who say they are trying not to get personal with others, and then, do. Nor do I like being included in their description of “..we unfortunate ignorant rubble”. Unless of course, they have worms.

  28. larben says:

    Sorry Harvey, my screw-up. I do sometimes you know? Ask Alex! I seem to working under two names, here. A nom de plume? Well, no; actually Larry and larben in the last 2 or 3 comments are one and the same. I will try and stick with larben, should I visit again. Thanks.

  29. D.G.B says:

    Regardless – the important thing to remember is to vote “YES” to kill the tax. Counterintuitive and sneaky questioning to fool people who want to say “no” to the tax. Read the question before you vote!

  30. Everyone enjoys a good tax break at the expense of single parent families.

  31. Sue says:

    Since the HST is, apparently, a better structure for Business, how about we tax business 10% and the people 2%?

  32. Daniel says:

    I am retired and my wife works part time. We feiindtely are not rich. Other than camping and fishing, my major recreational activity is golf (3 to 4 times a week). Of the eight courses I frequent, not one has dropped their price and 6 have increased prices! Two have stayed the same but one other that used to charge $20.00 (tax inclusive) is still $20.00 but the surprise kicker is we have an added $2.40 HST. Just did a calculation and have determined the added 7% is me costing $300.00 a year on this activity alone. This week I had a tune up and new tires installed on my 8 year old car. The additional 7% on the service portion of the bill was $41.22. Our furnace started blowing cold air last month because of a blocked tube. It needed no parts, just service. The added service tax is $11.20. HST on my weekly grocery bill is costing about $3.00 a week (natcho chips, etc) or $150.00 a year. The above mentioned tax increases for HST total more than $500.00. We have not been out for a bite to eat or a beer yet, so we can add that on. What amazed me are the increases I missed. My wife and I have self directed RRSP accounts. We are each automatically charged a fee of $135.00 plus tax. HST added $18.90 a year. Automatic payment of bills may be something many will never look at. Oh well, the bill was $67.82 last month but now it is $69.41, an increase of $1.59 or $19.08 yearly??? I have not added up all our bills but I will state that our older family of two with income of about $45,000 will pay close to $1000.00 more per year because of the HST. One other thing! Anyone who smokes is spending anywhere from $150 to $200 more a year. Poorer people in our society may be smokers??

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