Reportedly reluctant to take the job as B.C.’s finance minister, Kevin Falcon is now feeling Colin Hansen’s pain.
Gordon Campbell is gone, but the troublesome offspring he birthed with the federal government is now Falcon’s responsibility.
After G.P. Vanier grad Hansen suffered while promoting the HST at the behest of his boss, Falcon is in the same position.
His road became bumpier last week when a B.C. government-appointed panel of experts only partially supported the case made by the provincial Liberals that the tax is good for British Columbians.
The experts determined that indeed the HST would strengthen the economy and lead to more jobs. It’s hard for anybody to find fault with that.
The panel also determined the HST would increase taxes for 85 per cent of B.C. families while reducing taxes for business.
The panel’s report determined the tax — after rebates and other measures meant to cushion its impact — will cost families and individual people an extra $1.33 billion a year.
The bottom line — the HST is costing every man, woman and child in B.C. an additional $295 annually, which might not sound like a lot, but it’s more than the government claimed.
Further eroding its credibility was a panel finding that the economic benefit of the HST will be much smaller than claimed — projecting just 3,000 new jobs created annually — and that the government still offers unrealistically high projections of HST benefits.
In spite of Christy Clark’s attempts to persuade us that this is a government with a new leader and new direction, this report suggests otherwise.
So we’re saddled with a tax that shifts the burden from business onto families, that doesn’t create the benefits it was advertised to and that would surely cost us a $1.6-billion federal bribe to reverse as well as the agony of reverting to an inefficient provincial and federal sales tax regimen.
Campbell’s legacy includes so much more than the Olympics.