Frankie Fenton CMA

Transition to HST

It’s here folks.   Deal with it.

Over the past year, there has been a surprising backlash in British Columbia over the implementation of HST.  Yes, HST will apply to more services acquired by individual consumers.  And yes, the provincial portion of HST now applies to restaurant tabs, haircuts and chiropractor visits.  In contrast, PST had always applied to restaurant tabs in Ontario, and I can’t help but muse that our obsession with all things gastrointestinal is the single distinction between BC’s overwhelming hostility to the tax’s implementation in comparison to Ontario relatively weak  “yeah, but. . .”

Admittedly, I know, we take issue with the WAY it came to pass.  But it’s now time to be adult, and take responsibility for the fiscal management of this glorious province.  We need to grow up, set aside our bruised egos, and recognize that in a global economy largely predicated on transaction VATs, HST is what makes the most sense.

Yes, I am telling you all to grow up and get over it.

HST is a transactional tax, applied at all levels of the supply chain, and recoverable to most intermediaries in the supply chain.  All are taxed without prejudice.   Commercial administration is simpler, government administration costs are likely cut in half. The true tax cost only sticks to the consumer.

I know that doesn’t sit well.  You and I, as individuals, are consumers.

But we have a choice to consume.  We have much less of a choice in our need to earn income.  And in this ego-centric society we now live in, where it is cheaper to replace our possessions than repair them, where we carelessely create mountains of garbage replacing all of those things that no longer satisfy our vanity, should we not be taxed on that choice we are daily making?

You may rebut in saying you need to get your hair cut on a regular basis to maintain employment.  Your visits to the chirporactor reduce the government’s burden for the healthcare system. These activities don’t add to our environmental waste, why are they equally punished?

Because life isn’t fair and Canada’s tax system is complicated enough without making it rocket science.  BC (and other harmonized provinces) was alloted only a few exceptions from the national tax base and it made those choices in your best interest: auto fuel,  children’s clothing and footware, diapers and car seats, feminine hygene products.  Which of these would you have had our Ministry foresake in favour of restaurant meals or chirporactor services?

At the end of the day, this earth is increasingly driven by a global economy and if we wish to remain competitive, we must offer terms of business equal to those offered elsewhere.  Because if business fails in this province, our government services deminish, our taxes increase, and our quality of life deteriorates.

It is asserted that BC is entitled to receive $1.6 billion in federal transfer payments for the adoption of HST.  We can quibble about the true number, but the point to retain is that is a big number.  And we owe the money back if we renege.  How much are you willing to cough up for payback if you vote to abolish HST?  Think long and hard about that.  Because the money must come from somewhere.

So if , the Lord help us, this actually does go to a referendum, I urge you all to to put on your “big girl pants” and take a sober moment to be an adult and vote for what is best for this province, and the earth’s enviroment.  Leave your vengence and personal vendettas at the curtain.  Now is not the time to be petty.  We’ve wasted enough taxpayer’s dollars on that just getting to this place.

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