Readers respond to Fletcher’s HST stance

Fletcher arrives in 20th Century

To the Editor:

Re: A hard look at your choices (B.C. Views, June 22).

Tom Fletcher’s column name “BC Views” suggests views that are antiquated (“Before Christ”), but his thinking is as modern as the early 20th Century when Canada had minimal governmental support for people who were poor or homeless or unemployed.

Yet Mr. Fletcher’s views are part of a healthy public debate on the use of scarce taxpayer dollars, and his defence of the HST is laudable on strictly economic grounds. Opponents to the HST worry about the social cost of shifting more of the tax burden away from businesses and onto individuals and families.

We are not wanting to “throw a $3-billion chair through the office window” but protest a sneaky government tax initiative that has added to our daily expenses.

Jim McMurtry, Surrey

 

 

B.C. Liberals love Wall Street

To the Editor:

Re: Tax my car, not my income (B.C. Views, June 15).

Tom Fletcher can nitpick all he wants about the proper identification of the government’s July 2010 tax increase on private vehicle sales.

As an alternative, maybe his beloved government should have considered rescinding the dealer tax on used vehicles. Most people buy used cars and other used products because they can’t afford to buy new. In reality, this is just another tax that hits those who can least afford it.

After slogging through all the statistics, graphs, and pie-charts concerning the HST, one thing struck me: The province raises 14 per cent of its money from the HST, 14 per cent from personal income taxes, and only four per cent from corporate income taxes. The province spends 42 per cent of its revenues on health and 27 per cent on education.

Corporations benefit greatly from an educated and healthy workforce. It reduces their training costs, and unlike companies in the U.S. they don’t have to shell out huge amounts for heath insurance. That in itself provides a big cost advantage for B.C. companies. So why aren’t these companies paying their fair share?

Over the years our government has increasingly catered to the values of Wall Street and Madison Avenue. You know – those buzzing little stick people on TV. Now, if only it could rediscover Main Street.

Mike Divine, New Westminster