At a campaign stop Monday morning, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson announced that his party plans to eliminate the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) for one year if they are voted in on October 24.
Wilkinson added that after one year, the PST would be reduced from 7 per cent to 3 percent in the year after, “until the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Eliminating PST puts more money in people’s pockets, stimulates growth for struggling small business, and helps British Columbians who are struggling to get by. This is a vital step to rebuild our economy,” said Wilkinson in a statement.
He added that the move would save a family of four about $1,700 a year. In the first year, the PST elimination would also account for approximately $7.5 billion in lost tax revenue.
Wilkinson did not comment on whether the Liberals would remove anything from the budget as a result of the tax cut, but said they would not reduce spending on health care and education.
At a concurrent campaign stop, NDP leader John Horgan appeared caught off guard by his opponent’s announcement, stating that he had not yet seen it.
“When Mr. Wilkinson makes promises about taxes, historically they have been for the wealthy and well-connected,” added Horgan.
In a statement released later in the day, BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau said the tax cut showed “an astounding lack of imagination” from the BC Liberal Party.
“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,” she said.
The PST elimination, if the BC Liberals are elected, would take effect immediately and straddle two fiscal years.