The B.C. government brochure advising citizens about the HST referendum has arrived at our households and unfortunately it insults our intelligence, beginning with its title, “HST Referendum Voters Guide;” this should be “HST Referendum Voter’s Guide” or “HST Referendum Voters’ Guide.”
And the insults continue.
The included testimonials allude to HST savings, job security, job creation (“The HST ... will help create an additional 24,400 jobs ...”) and improved competitiveness. But without explicit data and explanation of how such results are achieved these are just hollow words.
It is further stated: “Companies are already competing to win customers with lower prices by passing on internal HST savings.”
I certainly haven’t seen any evidence of this and doubt other citizens have.
Again, where are the examples, the substantiating evidence?
There exists within Canada 13 years of experience with HST in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador (the ideal HST case study). I have not seen any evidence provided which verifies there has been improved productivity, job creation, significant savings, or reduced prices due to introduction of HST in these provinces.
If these advantages were realized we surely would have heard them shouted out in this referendum campaign, but we haven’t.
In fact, The Independent Panel Report at the www.HSTinBC.ca Web site provides many economic predictions and forecasts but does not use the East Coast experience to support (prove?) these results. Thus, I do not believe the results were achieved, so why should I believe they will be in B.C.?
Then there’s the statement, “Taxpayers would need to hire 300 PST tax collectors ... to bring back the PST/GST.”
I will not accept this assertion without definitive proof that 300 people were laid off with the introduction of HST - that is, they were removed from the B.C. government payroll, not just moved into other jobs within the large provincial bureaucracy.
Does our government think we are so gullible as to swallow wholesale all these very general statements?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not against the HST no matter what facts are laid before me.
No, it’s the whole sad story of the secret negotiations with the federal government, the lying to the populace before the provincial election, the sudden imposition of the HST with noticeable impact on my costs within a fixed income, and the lack of solid information and supporting data/facts in the referendum campaign that have me upset over the HST.
In a word, I’m disgusted!
So, Premier Clark and your government, will you please stop insulting our intelligence and provide material information that will address the above concerns?