Independent Panel confirms wealthy British Columbians paying lion’s share of HST

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Elimination of HST to put jobs and support to low-income families at risk

Vancouver, BC (May 4, 2011) – The official No side proponent of the HST referendum today welcomed the job-creating benefits of the HST confirmed by the Independent Panel and cautioned BC voters about the threat to jobs, the economy and low-income earners if the PST/GST is restored.

“Under the HST, the highest income families are largely footing the bill while the lowest income families actually come out ahead,” said Peter Leitch, co-chair of the Smart Tax Alliance.

The report shows that the highest income families earning over $100,000 are paying $1,029 per year in HST. About 40% of HST collected comes from the $100,000 plus income group. Meanwhile, the lowest-income families with under $10,000 of income come out further ahead, receiving a net benefit of $73 per year.

The Independent Panel’s report confirms the cascading benefits of the HST to jobs, small businesses and low-income earners. By 2020, the HST will create 24,400 more jobs than under the PST/GST; add about $800-million per year for better healthcare and education; and provide 1.1 million low-income individuals with HST rebate cheques as high as $230 per year.

“The risk of going back to the PST/GST means repaying $1.6 billion to Ottawa; spending $35 million per year on an army of 300 new PST tax collectors; and losing the opportunity to create new jobs for 24,400 British Columbians, their families and communities,” said Leitch. “On balance, British Columbians have far more to gain by voting to keep the HST.”

The Smart Tax Alliance (hstjobs.ca | twitter.com/hstjobs) is a non-partisan coalition of 38 B.C. business and industry groups formed to support the job-creating benefits of the HST. The STA was selected as the official NO side proponent of the HST referendum.

The full Independent Panel Report on the HST is available online

For more information on this issue please contact;

John Winter
President & CEO
BC Chamber of Commerce
C 604.376.3577
jwinter@bcchamber.org