Gordon Campbell and his sacrificial minister Colin Hansen defend the HST but voices of others in the Liberal government are muted. In fact, the voices of backbenchers are largely silent on this issue. Today though, Rogers’ CKWX played a short clip of Abbotsford-Mission MLA Randy Hawes speaking out.
As usual, Hawes claimed that misinformation about HST is the only problem and when misinformation is corrected, people support the Liberal program, particularly small business people. I decided to check that claim and called a small business person I know.
I asked the barber who cuts my hair whether or not he supports HST.
He said, “Well, if my shop takes in $100,000 a year for cutting hair, I will have to send $10,700 to government as their HST share. After wages and rent, I don’t have that money left so my prices have to go up or I close my shop.
I said, “Yeah, but you’ll save all that money because you’ll get back the provincial sales tax paid whenever you buy a new pair of scissors or a comb or a broom. And, you will get back the HST you pay on rent every month.
His reply, “I’ll save $47 a year in PST that the shop now pays. I pay 5% GST on rent but the tax is going up to 12% so every month, I have to pay more to the landlord and then wait to get that extra back from government when I file my sales tax return. I’ve got less money and have to carry a bigger account receivable for the HST refunds owed to me. “
I then asked, “But, you will collect HST every day but only remit that to government every three months, so that will help finance the amount owed to you for tax rebates. His response, “No, the tax department says that’s their money,that I hold in trust. I’m not allowed to use it or they will give me trouble.”
So, I said, “Well, you’ll have to put your prices up.’
He said, “Exactly.”