Questions loom over HST vote

Editor:

People need answers from our government regarding the HST before they vote in the referendum.

Editor:

People need answers from our government regarding the HST before they vote in the referendum.

Why did the provincial government wait until July 23, 2009 – two months after the provincial election, when the legislature was not sitting – to announce that it replaced the PST with the HST?

What was the provincial government’s justification for not telling the 4.5 million people living in B.C. about this tax change before it was acted on?

What happened to the $1.6 billion the provincial government received as part of the HST package?

What conditions did the federal government put on the government of B.C. for implementing the HST?

Why is the provincial government now telling the people of B.C. they will have to repay monies to the federal government if they vote not to accept the HST?

This province belongs to the people not to the government; we must exercise our rights as citizens and vote on the HST referendum.

Helen Cunningham, White Rock

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Are 140 countries wrong about HST? B.C. could be the first in the world to go from one tax to two different ones; is that logical?

Those 140 – and five provinces – all have a VAT similar to our HST.

If B.C. votes ‘yes’ to dump the HST, including the tax exemption on business inputs so that our prices continue to be higher than theirs, how can we compete or start new businesses? That’s not good for business investment and jobs. Maybe that’s why Prime Minister Stephen Harper and then-premier Gordon Campbell agreed on it!

How would we repay the $1.6 billion federal money advanced – roughly 90 per cent from other provinces? What about the administration costs of two different taxes rather than one. Where’s the money to rehire the 300 or more people to run the PST, and pay for office space, etc.?

And what about the extra costs of collecting two different taxes to every B.C. business?

Again, more costs mean it’s harder to compete.

It seems that everyone complains about the HST, but no one adds up the HST payments made to the poor, low-income seniors and families, recent personal income tax reductions and the HST reductions, to 10 per cent in 2014, which are now law.

And how else do you start something like an HST, other than with business exemptions and the conviction that competition will in time sort it out – and it will.

No one likes the way the tax was introduced, but it’s time to look at the implications of the tax itself.

Norval Garrad, Surrey

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Yes, I wish to extinguish HST.

This puzzles me, why couldn’t the government simply say what it meant: “Do you want HST?”

Liisa Parsikangas, White Rock