Reader contributes to HST discussion

Re: B.C. Views, April 27

Tom Fletcher, writing about the HST, says he is in favour of consumer taxes. I agree with this view, provided that such a tax is used for the general benefit of the public.

He does not seem to know that the HST as a consumer tax does not serve that purpose. As ex-premier Gordon Campbell explained when he introduced the tax, it was designed to be revenue neutral.

It is not one that supplies revenue to the government. It hits us all generally, but that tax money is to be used to lessen expense to business. Upon my enquiry to my MLA, her office confirmed that this was so.

A columnist should check his facts and not make arguments that are misleading, especially if he attacks opponents by saying they are bombarding people with “bogus arguments.”

Fletcher states that people he talks to don’t believe that taxes imposed on business will be passed on to the consumer. Since when did business not pass on its costs to consumers?

In a column that states his purpose is to discuss HST, his statement seems to imply that HST is a tax imposed on business. That is not so for all businesses and their operations.

Campbell said that we could expect the lessened cost for business would benefit consumers in the form of lower prices. I, for one, am not holding my breath.

Fletcher further states that B.C.’s portion of the HST does not apply to heating. I looked at my gas bill and my hydro bill. I use both for heating and both bills had an HST component. He does not explain what is meant by “B.C.’s portion of the bill,” but we are paying HST somewhere for heat.

N. Parker-Jervis

Oak Bay

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