Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stop the HST

I've had a lot of people ask me where I've been and to urge me to continue, so here I go. I'll explain where I disappeared to shortly, assuming anyone is still listening. Before I do though, I have to throw out a quick blog on something that has been bothering me.

I made it pretty clear before that I was pro-HST. That still hasn't changed, but recently I've taken a greater interest in our political system now. Its a very interesting time to do so with two leadership races on the way here in BC. So, I now have a better understanding on what the anger is all about, and I honestly don't think it has anything to do with the actual tax being a good or bad idea. I know its not a political blog, but it is hard not to discuss politics when trying to discuss the HST. Please bare with me and we'll get to my point at the end.

The government is supposed to be our elected representatives. Meaning they should represent what we want. When the premier of BC decides unilaterally to introduce a tax without MLA approval it violates how the system is supposed to work. Gordon Campbell lied to get elected, but that isn't surprising for a politician. What is surprising is his disregard for the democratic process. I'm sure if it had been taken to a vote it would have been struck down.

I still insist it is a better system, and I'm not trying to say that the general public is stupid for fighting it. However, no one can expect the general public to just take a politicians word that something is good for them. Or for that matter, any salesperson. I'm convinced that if the public was educated first and then asked to vote for it, it would have gone through.

Regardless, a wrong has been done and needs to be corrected. Is remove the HST really the best solution though?

Something just dawned on me today though. I think the Anti-HST movement is asking for the wrong thing. HST is just a harmonizing of the PST and GST taxes. We could reverse the HST, but without adding back the PST exemptions we had before the HST was introduced the changes would be irrelevant. Imagine how happy you'll be when the HST is reversed and now you pay 7% PST and 5% GST at the restaurant instead of 12% HST. Woo hoo!

In reality, I assume if the tax is reversed, these exemptions will be put back. However, what we really care about is paying more tax on services (maybe a few other things). A lot of companies have gone to a lot of work to get the HST introduced (the software company I work at for one). So, is it fair to penalize them for the Premier's mistakes? We already have a few exemptions on the HST, and adding a few more will leave a lot more people happier overall. I mean, do you really care what they call the tax?

Curious on your thoughts.

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