NDP Says Delay On Getting Rid Of The HST Hurting Small Business

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“It took the BC Liberal Government 11 months to bring in the HST, but now, the finance minister says it will take at least 18 months to eliminate it.  In the meantime, no one knows what the transition rules are,” said Jenny Kwan, BC New Democrat Critic for Economic Development.

VANCOUVER – NDP MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) and MLA Jenny Kwan (Vancouver Mt. Pleasant) called on the federal and provincial governments to stop passing the buck and get on with repealing the HST in British Columbia.

This follows the announcement that Bert’s Restaurant on Main Street, a local small business, is closing its doors after 63 years. Gerry DeKova, Berts’ owner, told Kwan that the elimination of the HST is taking too long and he can’t afford to continue to run the business.

Kwan, BC New Democrat Critic for Economic Development, said, “It took the BC Liberal Government 11 months to bring in the HST, but now, the finance minister says it will take at least 18 months to eliminate it.  In the meantime, no one knows what the transition rules are.

“Today, we are losing a small business that employs 16 people and has been part of the Mt. Pleasant community since 1948.  Small businesses like Bert’s Restaurant work hard to manage their businesses and they deserve better,” said Kwan.

Davies called the HST a “destructive tax” that is hurting businesses all over BC.

“In these tough economic times, the HST is a factor that can mean the difference between staying open or closed,” Davies said.  “Bert’s has weathered every economic environment for seven decades, but policies of the Harper government finally killed it.”

Davies noted that the federal Conservatives and provincial Liberals are blaming each other for the delay.

“This blame game is irresponsible,” said Davies.  “Instead of pointing fingers at each other, the two governments should move forward with implementing the will of the people of BC.

“Voters clearly said in a democratic referendum to remove this tax and it’s time the Harper government does so before more businesses are lost.”

Davies said that federal NDP policies to reduce taxes on small businesses, increase federal revenue to municipalities to reduce business property taxes and re-direct tax cuts from large profitable companies to small businesses that create jobs are needed to spur economic growth.