BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson promised voters on Tuesday that if elected, his government would not only cut PST, they would do it without slashing any services.
His comments came during a campaign stop in Campbell River, where Wilkinson joined North Island candidate Norm Facey in front of a backdrop of forestry and logging equipment.
Wilkinson said that the Liberal proposal to cancel PST completely for one year, followed by a reduction in the tax rate to three per cent, would help businesses that purchase equipment like the vehicles used in the North Island logging industry.
“Let’s be clear: this provincial sales tax cut will not lead to any reduction in services in British Columbia,” Wilkinson said in response to a question about the Liberal proposal.
The BC Government’s fiscal year-end estimate for March 2021 indicated that the province was expected to take in nearly $8 billion in revenue from provincial sales taxes.
In subsequent years, the Liberals say a three per cent rate cut could cost the province nearly $4 billion in revenue.
The BC NDP slammed the proposal, with leader John Horgan saying that eliminating the PST will not build schools or help the homeless.
In a statement, the incumbent party said that their government has already brought in a one-year 100 per cent PST rebate for machinery and equipment as part of their Economic Recovery Plan.
They added that PST does not apply to essential costs like rent, childcare and food.
In response, Wilkinson said that the PST is a regressive tax and hurts low-income people the most.
“The goal of getting rid of a provincial sales tax is to make it easier for low-income people to get back into the workforce.”