I’m going to vote yes on the HST referendum.
That means no to the tax.
Let me be clear. I have absolutely no objection to paying my share of taxes, harmonized or otherwise.
Governments need the money to pay for the services they provide.
I often object to the way they spend my money, but that’s another issue. We’re talking about collecting, not spending.
I don’t disagree with a tax on goods either. The more you spend, the more taxes you pay. What’s wrong with that?
I’m not so sure about taxing services, but whatever they are, taxes should be fair.
The HST isn’t fair for most workers, people on fixed incomes, or families.
Businesses, big and small, get refunds so they can pass the benefits on to their customers. That must be some kind of a joke.
An independent panel claimed the average family pays “only” $350 more with the HST but that’s for basics, not for anything extra.
I’m neither an average family nor a big spender but I’ve paid about three times that, most of it on unexpected and unwanted but unavoidable expenses.
While the lack of fairness is my issue, I don’t like the sneaky way the referendum is worded, or that the $5 million the province allocated for the advertising campaign isn’t neutral although the government said it would be.
I wish the provincial and federal governments would adopt my operational plan.
It would be a lot simpler and probably just as effective if they each had only two ministries, one to take the money in, and one to pay it out.
I don’t have space to explain the details but it certainly would save taxpayers a lot of money.
Along with deciding about the HST, the referendum results may also give a pre-election peek at how voters feel about Premier Christy Clark.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.