Do your homework on HST

Editor, The News:

Re:  Ex-premier at HST session in Maple Ridge (The News, June 10).

Congratulations and thank you, Corisa Bell and your fellow activists.

You have accomplished what many people have been looking for, namely a good look by the government at the HST and changes in the making that will be of benefit to most people, especially  lower income families and  seniors.

This includes a two-staged reduction in the tax rate from 12 to 10 per cent and rebates of $175 per person at the end of this year for many in the aforementioned categories.

Admittedly, not everyone will benefit as much because of too high an income, but that is also what most people are asking for.

So, all is well and a good reason to vote no to the upcoming referendum.

However, there could be a fly in the ointment, so to speak, and that is if we still let our original anger influence our rational decision making.

We must let bygones be bygones, step over it and make an informed decision.

Over the ages, a multitude of prominent people have spoken out about the devastating consequences of holding a grudge or acting out of anger.

Here are a few of them:

“Anger blows out the lamp of the mind,” Robert G. Ingersoll.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else: you are the one who gets burned,” attributed to Buddha.

And a Korean proverb: “If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot”.

To see a long list of such advice, just Google “anger” or “consequences of anger”. It is very sobering.

For sure, vote for or against extinguishing the HST, if you are convinced of the right choice, but may it be an informed decision.

As for half-truths and misinformation, that comes from all sides.

Adrian Dix says that the public should vote for a “return to the seven percent provincial sales tax” and that we should return to the PST, but neglects to add “to the PST and GST.”

And when the latest poll suggests the support against the HST is now at 56 per cent, down from the previous 80 per cent, Dix says that this is not surprising, given the $5 million the government is spending promoting the HST.

Here he deliberately ignores the fact that it is very well possible that the voting public is finally becoming far better informed by doing their homework.

Walter Verwoerd

Maple Ridge