By Max Miller, Grade 12
So much has happened since Gordon Campbell’s government introduced the Harmonized Sales Tax to British Columbian citizens, that it’s hard to believe it’s been scarce more than a year since. The HST raised taxes on everything from groceries to haircuts to 12%. It was introduced shortly after the Liberals, led by Gordon Campbell, were re-elected on the platform that they would not raise taxes this way. Because of this decision, Campbell became one of the least popular politicians in Canada, and he stepped down from office in March 2011.
Our new BC Premier Christy Clark, on the other hand, decided to let the general public decide whether or not the HST should be kept. The government promised that, if we voted to keep the HST, it would be lowered to 10% by 2014. However, independent research found that the average household would save more money by returning to the GST/PST system.
The results of the referendum were released on August 26th; 55% of the population voted in favour of abolishing the HST. The catch is that the government is going to take about eighteen months to return to GST and PST, with a target date of March 31st, 2013. So in the meantime, we’re going to need to continue stomaching the Harmonized Sales Tax.