BC Liberals pledge to temporarily eliminate, reduce PST

Liberals plan to reduce PST

The B.C. Liberals say they will temporarily reduce and eliminate the Provincial Sales Tax to help the economy recover during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson announced Monday a plan that would completely eliminate the PST for one year, followed by cutting it to three per cent in year two “until the economy recovers.”

“British Columbians have lost confidence in the direction of the province and the weak economic record of the NDP. B.C. families and small businesses need help now, which is why a BC Liberal government will immediately eliminate the PST for one year — saving you money right away, getting more people working, and bringing investment back to B.C.,” said Wilkinson in a news release. 

The Liberals have continued their attacks on the NDP over Premier John Horgan’s snap election call, something they call “an attempted power grab.”

“Countless people are still out of work, small businesses are facing bankruptcy, and the public health threat from COVID-19 is still very real,” added Wilkinson. “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.”

The party says their plan would save a family of four earning $120,000 a year will save $1,714 in the first year, followed by $979 in the second year.

“Everybody pays the PST, so everybody saves under the BC Liberal plan,” said Wilkinson.

The Liberals say the reduction of the sale tax will lessen the regressive effects that the tax has on a low-income family’s disposable income, as the flat tax hits low-income families the hardest.

In year one, the tax break would cost the provincial government $6.9 billion and would cost $3.9 billion in following years. The Liberal news release does not say if there would be cuts to provincial services to pay for the tax reduction. 

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