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Public Education Advocates Newsletter

June 10, 2011, Issue #4

Vote Yes to reject the HST 

Please vote yes to reject the HST in the upcoming June 24 referendum.

The HST is an unfair and regressive form of taxation that allows many to not pay their fair share.

Many BC citizens who signed the antiHST petition indicated support for a fair and progressive taxation system, which ensures all businesses and individuals contribute to building and maintaining public services, based on their ability to pay. Corporate taxes have dropped from 16.5% to 10% resulting in an $8.5 billion windfall to corporations. The 60% increase in corporate profits over the past decade obviously was not re-invested in BC industrial development or jobs. The HST contributes to the largest, most unfair tax shift from corporations onto the backs of working families in BC’s history.

Even though Premier Christy Clark announced the HST was unfair, the Liberals and the Smart Tax Alliance are spending more than $6 million in ads and town-hall meetings to convince citizens the HST is somehow good for BC.

Missing from the government ads are the following facts:

  • The Liberals said no to the HST before the 2009 provincial election.
  • The HST legislation was imposed by the Liberals in 2010 without public input or debate.
  • The HST revenue is greater than the PST.
  • All the HST revenue did not go into healthcare as promised.
  • The Initiative to end the HST had the overwhelming support of BC voters.
  • The Liberal government bends to public pressure and promises temporary changes to the HST if the referendum fails.
  • Even with the changes to the HST legislation, BC families will pay more in taxes and fees and get fewer public services.

Here are some comments:

Bill Tieleman, columnist and HST critic: “Believe that they will introduce changes they pledged last week to bring in—trying to buy your vote with your own money—but only if you agree to keep the HST in the June binding referendum” http://thetyee.ca/News/2011/05/26/ReduceHST/ 

Jim Sinclair, president of the BC Federation of Labour in The Vancouver Sun, June 3, declared: “Let's be clear. The HST can't be fixed. The changes promised by Clark are a cynical attempt to buy British Columbians with their own money and, more importantly, dropping the tax by two points will cause a major revenue crisis leading to more cutbacks of schools, hospitals, and government services.” See www.vancouversun.com/news/cannot+fixed/4886017/story.html 

Seth Klein, CCPA: “Why I’m voting against the HST— it fails the test of fairness. As a province, we would be much better served by a Fair Tax Commission, in which we put the entire BC tax and royalty regime on the table. British Columbians deserve a chance to thoughtfully deliberate on all the options, and to determine together how we want to raise the revenues we need to meet our social, environmental, and economic goals.” http://www.vancouversun.com/news/voting+against/4807969/story.html 

The Coalition to Build a Better BC asks voters to think about fair taxes and good public services by checking out www.bestdealbc.ca.

Peter Ewart, a Prince George columnist while comparing the HST to smelly milk warned; “The experience of other countries has been that, while a value-added tax like the HST may start off relatively low, there is a tendency for it to go up over time to 15, 20, or even 25%.”  See http://tinyurl.com/3hyynp8 

COSCO, Council of Senior Citizens of BC—Seniors are urging seniors to vote “yes” to scrap the HST. “By the time the government gets around to fixing the HST in 2014, some of us won't be around to see it. We’ll die knowing the government took money from our families by charging HST on our funerals.” See http://coscobc.ca/ 

For more information on the Vote Yes to Reject the HST check out http://www.hstinbcfacts.ca/ or take the Tax Quiz at www.bestdealbc.ca.

Follow the BCTF on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/BCTeachersFederation or Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/bctf 

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