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NDP critic offers alternative HST legislation titles

The New Democratic Party's finance critic Bruce Ralston today suggested several alternative titles for the bill that prepares British Columbia for the Harmonized Sales Tax. They include, according to the transcript of this morning's debate, the following:

"Holding up B.C.'s end of the deal with the federal government to get $1.6 billion in swag and implement the HST act”;

"The single best thing we can do for the B.C. economy but didn't want to tell you about before the last election act”;

"It wasn't on our radar before the election, and we're not going to explain what that means act”;

"This tax is going to fund health care, but we didn't think of that explanation for eight months act."

Ralston speculated on why the bill's actual title, the Consumption Tax Rebate and Transition Act, introduced earlier this week, doesn't mention the HST. “Perhaps it's a realization that the words 'HST,' if it were to really identify the bill for what it was, might provoke even more public anger.”

In question period Ralston said the HST will add to the cost of children's sports, citing the example of Abbotsford where the Minor Hockey Association said it will add $30,000 to their annual costs.

Finance Minister Colin Hansen said the HST tax credit and the increase in the basic personal income tax exemption to $11,000 a year will put more money in people's pockets to help pay for "some of those things that will cost a little bit more."

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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