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BC Liberal Leader asks Horgan to pause PST, employer health tax

Last Updated May 5, 2020 at 10:53 pm PDT

FILE: BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson (left) and Premier John Horgan (right) speak to reporters at separate news conferences in Victoria on Jan. 24, 2019. (Liza Yuzda, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Opposition Liberals laying out what more they think needs to be done in the province

Pause PST and employer health tax -- not forever but for now -- says party leader Andrew Wilkinson

On Wednesday the premier will be announcing what the provincial plan is to get businesses back in a new way

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As everyone is trying to making it through the COVID-19 crisis, the BC Liberals have sent a letter to the province with their suggestions.

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson says while he supports many actions the province has made so far, there is more they can do.

“We’re suggesting a comprehensive program rent relief, PST relief and so that companies and employers can continue to employ people,” he says.

Wilkinson says there should be a pause on PST and employer health tax – at least for now.

The employer health tax that replaced MSP has been a target for the liberals since the beginning.

Wilkinson also says the federal commercial rent relief isn’t giving the break expected.

“We’re hearing from quite a lot of small businesses that their landlords are not interested in participating in that federal program,” he says.

“There needs to be a provincial hand in making sure businesses keep going,” he says.

Wilkinson suggests looking at the Australian models of businesses.

“Commercial tenants would pay in the same proportion as the revenue that had been sustained so if your revenue was 30 per cent of previous, you would pay 30 per cent of your rent.”

These recommendations to the province come a day before the premier will announce B.C.’s plan to get back to business in a new way.