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B.C. Liberals promise to eliminate PST for a year if elected next month

Last Updated Sep 28, 2020 at 7:28 pm PDT

Summary

B.C. Liberals promising to eliminate PST for a year if elected

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says PST would be cut to three per cent after first year until economy recovers

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) -The B.C. Liberals are promising a big tax break if they’re elected next month, pledging to scrap the Provincial Sales Tax for a year.

Leader Andrew Wilkinson said after the PST is eliminated, it would be raise to only three per cent the following year.

“This will give people spring in their step. This will give people a chance to get ahead. This will build British Columbia by bringing in investment and giving people the confidence to get back involved in our economy,” Wilkinson said from Richmond on Monday.

Calling it an “unprecedented tax cut for an unprecedented time,” Wilkinson said the cut to three per cent would last until the economy recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We all know that we’re in a very difficult time. British Columbia’s deep in an economic crisis,” he said.

He claimed British Columbians “have lost confidence in the direction of the province and the weak economic record of the NDP.”

Wilkinson believes eliminating the PST for a year and cutting it to three per cent — down from the current seven per cent — would give British Columbians the chance to get out and stimulate the economy.

The Liberal leader has promised there would be no cuts to health or education spending if the PST was eliminated.

BC Green Party Leader Sonia Fursenau says the Liberal PST proposal lacks imagination.

“After 3.5 years in opposition, the best idea the B.C. Liberals can come up with is a sweeping, antiquated tax cut,” she says in a release.

“There are far more effective ways to spend $7 billion. This old-school style of economics is not what B.C. needs to recover. We need to target our recovery efforts to the economic sectors that need it most. We need to get people back to work through high-quality services like early childhood education.”

Fursenau the Greens would work to ensure everyone has a basic level of economic security.

“That is how we will recover from COVID-19,” she says.

“During their 16 years in government, the B.C. Liberals made countless cuts to vital social services that people rely on every day. We have seen how service cuts simply create more costly social and economic problems. We need to invest in our people and in our future.”

The NDP says the Liberal tax plan saves a household making $120,000 close to four times what it saves someone making $30,000.

“It doesn’t help people with their basic costs: rent, groceries, car insurance, buying a home, or childcare. Those are already exempt from the PST,” the NDP says in a release.

“It does save a multimillionaire $70,000 on a million-dollar yacht. And Wilkinson supports $3 billion in tax breaks for the rich.”