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BC residents fuming over HST, survey finds

The Campbell government continues to slide into disfavour amongst British Columbians since the highly contentious Harmonized Sales Tax’s launch July 1, a public opinion survey released July 13 finds.

They online survey conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion states that, out of a representative provincial sample of 801 adults, 76 per cent of those surveyed disagree with the implementation of the HST.

Echoing former premier Bill Vander Zalm’s Fight HST campaign and petition that garnered 700,000 signatures, three in four respondents say they would vote to abolish the HST if a referendum is held next year.

According to the survey, 70 percent of British Columbians will dine out less often because of the HST; 62 per cent will attend less sporting events or concerts; 60 per cent will go to the movies less often and 55 percent will buy fewer magazines and newspapers.

Thirty per cent of British Columbians state that the new harmonized tax will severely affect their household finances, and 43 per cent say they will be moderately affected by the tax.

The survey also found that public backlash over the HST’s implementation brings severe political ramifications for Premier Gordon Campbell. Seventy-two per cent of respondents say their opinion of Campbell worsened in the last three months. Only one percent say their opinion of the premier improved.

The BC Liberals dropped three points to 23 per cent support in the provincial political scene and 46 per cent of respondents say they will vote for NDP in the next provincial election. The Green Party holds 14 per cent support and the BC Conservative Party comes in with eight per cent.

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