NEWS RELEASE · 4th December 2009
While the B.C. Liberals take further steps to implement the Harmonized Sales Tax, New Democrats are saying the HST must be stopped.
“New Democrats are going to fight the HST to the end,” said Bruce Ralston, New Democrat finance critic. "The B.C. Liberals said during the election campaign that they would not bring in the HST, but then broke their promise only a few weeks later. British Columbians can count on New Democrats to stay true to our word, and continue to fight this tax to the end."
Ralston said that even though the B.C. Liberals signed an HST implementation agreement with the federal Conservative government this week which brings the HST closer to a reality, the fight is not over. The Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreement relies on legislation at both the federal and provincial levels in order for the new tax system to be fully implemented.
“New Democrats will be fighting the HST and holding the B.C. Liberals to account for their election deception,” said Ralston. "We're calling on seven B.C. Liberals to join with us and stand up for their constituents to stop the HST."
Ralston noted that even if the federal government passes legislation this week to bring in the HST, there will also be provincial legislation introduced in the spring to seal the deal.
“British Columbians are overwhelmingly opposed to the $1.9 billion tax shift on to consumers,” said Ralston. “British Columbians have been clear that they do not want this new tax, and all provincial and federal politicians must listen to the people they were elected to represent and vote against the HST.
“The B.C. Liberals lied about the HST and people resent that.”
Carole James and the New Democrats have been holding the B.C. Liberals accountable for breaking their word on the HST, and for backtracking on their election promises to protect health care, education, and other vital services.