Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The HST & ME

This is my very first blog - ever.
As many of my acquaintances already know I have joined the campaign to End the HST. Why?
Perfectly fair question. Several reasons actually but first of all let me say that I have voted liberal my whole life except during the last Federal election where I voted for Mr Harper.
However, I am tired and quite frankly so sickened by the hypocrisy of our elected officials that we've come to accept and I've decided to exercise MY democratic rights that our forefathers so bravely fought for. If I don't exercise my rights then I've got no reason to complain later on similar to voting in that respect.
In this particular instance our current premier during his last election campaign unequivocally and categorically stated that he had not contemplated introducing the HST if elected. Then he did just that 2 months later. Feel the stomach turn?
He then tried to insult my intelligence by stating that the tax would be neutral. Try explaining this to the seniors on fixed incomes or the single moms, the marginally poor and middle class working stiff how this tax is going to be neutral to them?
This is merely a shifting of tax-burden from the corporate sector to the consumer sector. Many of our large corporations are owned or partially owned by offshore interests IE. China, USA etc... and they will be the beneficiaries of this shift, not you and I. That's for sure.
Furthermore, by entering into this agreement with Ottawa the tax will now be a Federally collected tax and BC will receive its share as a transfer payment. I don't know about you but I would like to have my provincial taxes decided here in BC and NOT in OTTAWA!
The smoking gun here is that so few know what went on behind the scenes with the negotiations between the Province and Ottawa. An article I just finished reading in the Vancouver Sun April 10th 2010 that outlines the complete failure of the Freedom Of Information Act goes into a little detail and cites the HST as an example: August 2009, he said, a media organization requested background correspondence to the government's decision to enter a controversial agreement with the federal government to harmonize and combine the GST and the existing provincial sales tax under a new tax to be called the HST, which it had assured voters was not contemplated during the last election campaign.
Bureaucrats demanded payment of an $800 fee to process the information request. The media organization applied for a fee waiver as permitted by the act. Five months later there had still been no decision and no information had been released.
"It is inconceivable that it would cost $800 to locate and process public records on a high-profile issue like the HST," Botterell told the committee. This information should be at the government's fingertips. We live in an era of Google and iPads, not filing cabinets and typewriters. This information must have been generated and stored on computers.
Either the government records management is in a shambles or the government has something to hide and is doing everything it can to delay responding to the request. Either way the public paid through their taxes to have the HST information prepared and has a right to know what it says."
Let's remember this folks, the government has no money of its own - just yours and mine.
I am fighting against the HST.