It does not appear that the government will keep plans for a reduction in sales tax (www.hstinbc.ca/moving-forward/moving_forward) — taxes will remain at 12 per cent on things that get taxed by both the GST and PST.
People often focused that under the HST system they were getting taxed for more on things that previously just got PST taxed. They may not have considered the offsetting effect that the HST (scheduled to drop to 10 per cent) would be a reduction on things that would require both PST and GST components (combined 12 per cent, which appears to be the percentage we are stuck with).
Things that were previously exempt from GST, as a general rule, were also HST exempted (both components). The few things that were not still exempt allowed the government to give the reduction. Would the government have kept the reduction in the long run?
People need to see the employee-employer relationship amounts to the same thing as the customer-business relationship, as people need to be employed to be fully participating customers. Someone’s customer is someone else’s employee, and their employee is either their own customer or/and someone else’s customer. That is, in the sense without the ‘expectation’ that an employee ‘has to be’ or ‘should be’ automatically the customer of his/her employer, just instead that the employee may also be one.
I think what may have been seen was a backlash against the government in general, including that the BC Liberal government said they would not bring the HST in, then did, in fear of saying otherwise would cost them the election.
The problem with this referendum was that the voices of those responsible for providing independent, truthful information and putting it in condense and understandable format were completely absent. Providing reliable information such as the sales tax projections of what families pay and governments collect under both systems is important so that people could make informed decisions. Remember businesses have a net effect of zero for sales taxes. They do not, in the long run, collect more or less sales tax than they pay, as they submit the difference to the government.