Sunday, June 27, 2010

Colin Hansen's propaganda

According to an article in the Vancouver Sun (June 26, 2010) B.C. Finance Minister Hansen dismissed concerns that the restaurant business would be adversely affected by the HST:

"In terms of the restaurant industry, what studies show is the consumption of restaurant meals is driven more by a strong economy and more by consumer confidence than by any tax raise," Hansen said, noting once the economy is fully recovered from the recession the service industry should not notice any loss of profits.

Funny "law of supply and demand"! (When B.C. Liberals resist an increase in the minimum wage they use this argument in reverse, i.e. that a cost increase would hurt the restaurant business.)

Hansen also noted a multinational company like Rio Tinto Alcan could save $70 million thanks to the HST.

According to the Minister low income families making less than $25,000 per year will get rebates of $230 per family member per year. He also mentioned $80 savings for every B.C. taxpayer thanks to an increase in the province's basic personal tax exemption.

That works out to $ 310.- of tax savings per year for low income earners and $ 230.- savings per year for the poor , who do not pay income taxes.

According to Statistics Canada, the average B.C. household could be spending $521 more each year with the HST, i.e. a tax increase of $ 291.- per year, as reported by the Vancouver Sun (June 22, 2010).

The average B.C. household could take a hit of $521 to its bottom line next year as a result of the harmonized sales tax, according to a model prepared for the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper by Statistics Canada.

The change could range anywhere from $78 for households with single parents and one child to $801 for a married couple with no children,the figures show.

If one puts more faith in the extensive model Statistics Canada used with inputs from various government departments than the opinion pieces, such as this one, the Government relies on it would appear that Mr. Hansen is lying.

(This document was linked to on the Ministry's website. It was subsequently removed, perhaps because Mr. Hansen claimed the opposite of what the author has written.)