HST loss shows the new reality

I must apologize to Joe Sawchuk of Duncan BC (Readers Write Sept. 8, 2011) for not grasping the “reality” of the HST mess that our Liberal politicians are blaming on those taxpayers who said “enough is enough” and voted the HST down.

I must apologize to Joe Sawchuk of Duncan BC (Readers Write Sept. 8, 2011) for not grasping the “reality” of the HST mess that our Liberal politicians are blaming on those taxpayers who said “enough is enough” and voted the HST down.

I obviously didn’t realize that a change to a complex two-government tax collection system could really be worked out in a few days after the last election. I foolishly thought that such agreements took months of behind the doors discussion, and that the “I promise you NO HST” by Campbell during his bid to get reelected was sincere, and totally honest. Of course, the idea of “Let’s now put in the HST” was a bolt out of the blue. I am such a fool.

I really believed Campbell when he promised us that the HST once in place would be “revenue neutral”, and that the government would not benefit at all financially by the HST. Today, when Clark, Les and others moan about the great financial loss to the province with the old GST plus PST in place I really don’t understand what they are saying. Gosh, I must be really stupid misunderstanding what he meant by “revenue neutral”.

I really thought the telephone survey I received prior to my voting, from an “independent” survey pollster was truly “independent” . The recorded voice listed numerous ‘respected’ groups such as the Fraser Institute and many other business groups who supported the HST. “Did the this list influence my decision to vote on the issue”, I was asked? I couldn’t ask “Where is the list from the other side of the debate”. I failed to realize the “reality” of Liberal advertising. I am sorry Joe.

I was tempted to vote for the HST when I was promised the total HST rate would be lowered from 12 per cent to 10 per cent, and that I would be saving a fantastic two per cent. Of course, I would grasp the “reality” that this lost two per cent in tax revenue would not be sneakily recovered in increasing taxes and other government fees from other areas ie. user fees, ferry rates etc. I trust our Liberal government never to do such a thing, being the totally honest, open, and trustworthy politicians they are. That is our reality – right Joe?

Of course I believe the Liberals when they claim that the HST is resulting in lots of new jobs for B.C. (and Ontario). Yesterday the federal government announced a zero per cent job growth for August, but that must be all those non HST provinces causing the problem. The new reality – right Joe?

Joe makes a lot of lamentations that the referendum rules have changed, and if the old rules brought in by the past NDP government were in place, the results would have been different, He seems to suggest that the rules were changed by the anti-HST camp. Hmmm. Reality zap Joe. I believe these new rules were brought in by Campbell and supported by Premier Clark.

I could go on and on here Joe, but I believe enough has been said. I apologize to you for being so unrealistic in my last letter. Yes, the HST was not voted out because the electorate was tired and fed-up of the Campbell and Clark governments. You and Campbell have to be right. eight per cent approval rating you say? Wow! In reality, the other 92 per cent just didn’t realize how foolish and shortsighted we were and should have followed our leaders like lemmings.  Pity.

Ken Pugh


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