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Thursday, June 2, 2011 The Chilliwack Progress

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Changes to the Harmonized Sales Tax will mean a total $470 in savings for the average B.C. family, says Chilliwack MLA John Les. “Every family in B.C. will be a net beneficiary of the HST,” he said - if British Columbians vote to retain the new tax in the June 24 referendum. The B.C. government is proposed to cut the provincial portion of the HST by one per cent on July, 1, 2012 and by another one per cent in 2014. To make up the lost revenue, the government proposes to increase the general corporate tax rate to 12 per cent from 10 per cent on Jan. 1, 2012 and postpone a planned 2.5 per cent cut in small business tax that was scheduled for April 1,2012. “It’s a balancing act,” Les

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tax under the new system. “This latest gimmick is just more of the same,” he said in a news release. “The BC Liberals are also trying to tell you that the average family only pays $350 more per year under the HST, but they don’t tell you that they count one person as a family, artificially deflating the true numbers,” he said. “The truth is a two-incomeearning family with both members making $50,000 each – the average B.C. salary – will pay over $1,000 more per year under the HST,” he said. BC Conservative leader John Cummins also slammed the proposal, saying in a news release that the onetime rebate to families “does not immediately solve the problem of the tax not being revenue neutral for the next three years.” rfreeman@theprogress.com

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agreed, but he said the business world is accepting the proposal as a “very acceptable compromise” to having no HST at all. “Even though we’ve increased the corporate tax somewhat and delayed the small business cut, we still have some of the lowest business taxes in the country,” he said. Les rejected the charge by New Democrats that the BC Liberals are trying to buy votes to ensure the HST passes the referendum. “What we’re putting forward is more tax relief,” he said. “What I don’t understand is why the NDP would be opposed to tax relief for seniors, families and children.” “I think this (proposal) puts the NDP in a very difficult position,” he said. New Democratic finance critic Bruce Ralston said no matter what the HST rate, British Columbians will still pay more

VICTORIA – The B.C. Liberal government has rejected an NDP request to extend the spring legislative session past this week, and pushed through its plan to offer a reduced rate for the harmonized sales tax. B.C. Liberal house leader Rich Coleman said the provincial budget and remaining legislation will be completed and passed by Thursday afternoon. That includes endorsement of the Yale

First Nation treaty, limits to ferry fare increases, creation of a new police investigation unit and dozens of minor amendments to legislation. Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson said Tuesday he plans to vote against the Yale treaty, partly because the government is pushing the disputed settlement of Fraser Canyon fishing territory through with only a few hours of debate. And the NDP says the B.C. Liberal government is using its majority to

ram through the HST changes with inadequate debate. NDP leader Adrian Dix said the government closed off debate on the HST plan in less than a day, and switched debate on Premier Christy Clark’s office budget to coincide with game one of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday, to distract the public from criticism. Coleman continued the hockey theme, accusing the NDP of “ragging the puck” after agreeing to debate all current leg-

islative measures by the scheduled adjournment on Thursday. NDP house leader John Horgan said the government’s reduction of legislature time is an affront to the citizens who elected MLAs to represent them. “We sat for four days the previous 10 months,” Horgan said. “We have a four-week session to deal with a $40 billion budget and a handful of bills at the start that turned into 15 bills, one of which is a treaty.”

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Thurs. June 2, 2011 Chilliwack Progress  

Complete issue of the Chilliwack Progress as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, visit www.theprogress.com.

Thurs. June 2, 2011 Chilliwack Progress  

Complete issue of the Chilliwack Progress as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, visit www.theprogress.com.

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