HST is good for province, says Hawes

One of Mission’s MLAs maintains the Harmonized Sales Tax is the right idea.

Abbotsford-Mission MLA Randy Hawes said, “Every expert says [the HST] is good for the economy. If we go away from it, it will hurt every person. We cannot go backwards.”

The provincial government representative noted no other jurisdiction on the globe has returned to a different system after the HST was implemented.

“The further one per cent cut in 2014 puts nearly everyone on the plus side” financially, he continued.

The B.C. government promised last Wednesday to cut the harmonized sales tax rate by two percentage points over the next three years, and issue $175 rebate cheques for each child and lower-income senior this year.

The program is aimed at persuading voters to keep the HST in a mail-in referendum that begins this month. If the HST survives, the first one per cent rate cut would take effect July 1, 2012.

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon said the changes mean the average B.C. family will see an overall tax reduction of $120 a year when the HST rate reaches 10 per cent.

The HST currently costs the statistically average household an additional $350 a year, although there are wide variations among actual households. Falcon acknowledged that some families would continue to pay more until 2014.