Consumption is a fair tax

Editor, The News:

Re: Don’t be fooled by HST propaganda (Letters, July 1).

Figures do not lie, but liars do figure.

I cannot recall where I heard this, but the quote certainly stuck in my mind, since it is so true.

Even if it is not an outright lie, one can easily mislead people with the significance of numbers.

For example, if a researcher reports on the effectiveness of a new vaccine for a problem where normally 50 percent succumbs if nothing is done and states that only one third died after the vaccination, then one would easily come to the conclusion that this is quite an improvement.

However, the picture changes drastically when one discovers that only three patients received the new vaccine.

Speaking about questionable numbers, Wayne Clark writes that we should not be fooled by the HST propaganda and proceeds to present us with some numbers how the new tax is affecting him.

He claims to have to pay in excess of $1,000 more for his registered therapeutic massage than before.

Since the $1,000 represents seven per cent of his total outlay for the treatment, he spends more than $14,000 on treating his fibromyalgia, or about $40 a day, every day of the year.

One consolation is that much of that amount is tax deductible, if indeed he spends that much.

He also claims to have spent and extra $2,000 in new taxes in the past 11 months.

Since the HST applies to about 20 per cent of the goods and services that were PST exempt before, Mr. Clark must have spent $28,500 on items that only had the GST before the HST.

If that applies to the 20 per cent of his spending, then he supports our economy at the tune of over $160,000 annually.

If he is that wealthy, then I do not feel sorry for him.

After all, the HST is a consumption tax and, therefore, a fair tax.

Poor people spend far less than rich people, and with this tax the rich pay considerably more to provide the government with the funds to pay for  public services such as education and health care, and let us not forget the wages of all the government employees.

I find it ironic that the very people who object the most to the HST are the same who want more money from the government.

Where is that money going to come from?

The glib answer is, of course, that the big bad corporations should be taxed more to pay for their wage increases.

Do they remember what happens when the government does that?

The corporations either pack up and leave and many people lose their jobs, or they have to increase the prices of the goods or services they provide to remain in business.

One way or another, the consumer ends up having to paying more for just about everything and, therefore, will curtail their spending.

The combined result of that is that the provincial economy tanks and we once again will become a ‘have not’ province.

I, therefore, prefer to keep the HST. Not because I like to pay more in tax, but I do not want to see the inevitable cuts in health care and education if we go back to the antiquated GST/PST combination.

Marco Terwiel

Maple Ridge


Vote without bias

Editor, The News:

Re: Anti-HST signs OK in city now (The News, July 1).

I am disappointed to see Corisa Bell claiming that her ‘Yes’ signs must have been removed by Liberals.

It is not so long ago that Ms. Bell was vehemently complaining that her anti-HST campaign was assumed to be NDP-motivated. She is now making similar unfounded assumptions.

For you information, Ms. Bell, not all HST supporters are Liberals, and conversely, not all Liberals are HST supporters.

If this referendum is decided on party lines, then we will be doing ourselves a disservice.

Yet the longer the campaign continues, the more likely it is that this will be the case.

I urge everyone to read all the reputable information on the subject, ignoring the hype, political posturing and blatant inaccuracies that are being published.

Ask yourself if it’s reasonable for someone to claim he spends $1,000 in HST on massage therapy – that equates to more than $8,000 in fees in one year.

As advertising on both sides of the argument becomes more frenzied, it is increasingly difficult for the general public to make a balanced and informed decision.

It is essential that we vote without political bias and that we research accurate information that will give us a more complete picture of all the ramifications of this tax, provincial, national and international.

Anne Rostvig

Maple Ridge


Vote for more or less

Editor, The News:

It seems that every time I pick up the news, there are the same half dozen anti-HST writing their narrow focus of why the government should go backwards and spend billions bringing back a poor tax because it did not tax one of two things.

If the HST is so bad because it now taxes a couple of other things, perhaps these writers could petition to exempt those items.

When the government has to pay $2 billion, they may have to continue taxing those items, anyways.

If those who are prepared to vote yes because they want to send a message, try sending a letter instead of insisting on a policy that will cost billions.

Governments must tax to provide services. We vote for a government that will tax to provide the services we want.

We vote on better services for more taxes or less services and less taxes.

We have an election to do that.

Dan Banov

Maple Ridge