How do provinces compare over taxes?

I have sent this letter to Mr. Adrian Dix, NDP Opposition leader and Mr. Bruce Ralston, NDP finance critic in regards to the HST in Nova Scotia.

I contacted the NDP premier of Nova Scotia Darrell Dexter and Nova Scotia’s finance minister Graham Steele in regards to the HST in their province.

The reason I contacted them is they are the only NDP provincial government in Canada that has the HST.

I wanted to know why, according to the NDP Opposition in B.C., it would not be good for the economy, business and for the people of B.C. and if it would be just as detrimental to these same groups in Nova Scotia.

Finance minister Mr. Steele said: “We did raise the HST from 13 per cent to 15 per cent. When this government assumed office, Nova Scotia was on an unsustainable fiscal path. To address the issue, we embarked on a four-year fiscal plan, anchored in expenditure reduction, growing the economy and increasing revenue. We have addressed the first two pillars through our Expenditure Management Initiative and economic growth strategy. The third pillar, increasing revenues, presented us with different tax-based options. We took these options to Nova Scotians in a province-wide consultation before tabling the 2010-11 budget, and the majority preferred an increase in sales tax over an increase in personal income tax.”

I also asked them if they would go back to the old system of GST/PST after their four-year plan ended.

Mr. Steele’s answer was, “We believe the HST is the most efficient way to levy a tax and is better for the economy than the former provincial retail tax system. We would not consider returning to the former retail tax system.”

Mr. Dix, how can the HST be the most efficient way to levy a tax in Nova Scotia for growing their economy and revenue and good for their economy, but is not good for the economy for B.C.?

 

Peter Heigh

Surrey

Surrey North Delta Leader

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