Monday, July 5, 2010

GST/HST/LICAT Credits Benefit Low-Income Households

Got my $146.25 GST/HST/carbon tax credits! That's $585 per year!

(There must be a cost of living allowance built in, likely on the GST and/or LICAT credits - $230 and $100, respectively. With BC's $230 HST credit, the total comes to $580, not $585.)

The $230 annually from BC for the HST is a boost I appreciate. On an income as low as mine, no way does the sales tax I pay come anywhere near it, let alone approach $585. Which means more money for food, less worry about my rent going up by $15 next month.

In fact, so far this year, and this is as of June 30 before receiving and calculating in this latest credit, I'm ahead by $57.86.

Thank you BC Liberals for doing something right for a change. HOW you did it, in not coming clean with the electorate, is another matter.

I also give credit to the BC Liberals for implementing their "Climate Action," or carbon, tax. It doesn't go far enough, but it's a start.

Taxing consumption is the way to go. Yes, despite the incessant cry: "But the jobs! If you tax goods and services, there'll be no jobs!!"

Well, if society would move toward green jobs, which produce environment-preserving, innovative, and more efficient goods and services, then it would have less of a problem, wouldn't it?

ETA: See follow-up re comments below about effect of HST on BC Hydro bills.


Ian said...

It would also have been nice if they implemented the HST without a giant handout to businesses so that we would actually have money to fund our schools and hospitals.

Kim said...

Chrystal, I'm glad this is a boost to your income. I disagree with you about the tax though, emphatically. A family of 2 with an income of just $25,001 will be paying the brunt of this. On stuff they can't avoid, like Hydro and Telephone service. Income taxes are actually better if they would stop giving tax breaks there for the rich, we'd have lots of money for programs and services. And our corporate taxes are lowest of all OECD countries , with the exception of MEXICO! MEXICO!!! Is that what we want? How has that worked out for us? Do you see an influx of businesses anxious to set up shop here? Do you think they are going to lower their prices and pass them on to the consumer? Of course not! Catalyst is closing Elk Falls and moving to China. Why? Didn't the HST save them enough money? Fact is, we are competing with China and Taiwan now for wages. And they are using our raw logs to create these Chinese jobs. Love your work Chrystal, but you are dead wrong on this one. Thanks, Kim

Chrystal Ocean said...

Kim, how have you worked out the numbers for families of two with $25,001 income? By my reckoning, such families are ahead.

For example, you mention that the cost of hydro will go up. Not true. Who told you it was?

Regarding phone, many low-income households opt for mobile service instead of landline. Mobile plans offer some lower cost alternatives. In BC, GST and PST already applied to mobile service, so the switch to HST has had no impact.

For landline phone service, it's true the extra seven percent applies now. However, assuming the average bill, that would amount to about $3.00 more paid per month or $36 per year. The annual HST credit for a household of the size you describe well exceeds that.

Like mobile phone service, Internet service already had GST applied. So, again, no change. (Well, my Shaw Cable bill was one penny less, due to rounding.)

I do understand your argument regarding breaks for businesses, rather than favouring a shift toward greater support for programs and services. No way am I saying that the BC Liberal's HST program is perfect. It has plenty of flaws; and I've never supported the way it was foisted upon an unsuspecting populace, mere weeks after an election.

That said, I no longer buy what ANY politician or political party insiders say about anything.

With respect to the HST, there has been as much disinformation put out by the anti-HST group as there has been a lack of information (and disinformation) from the government side. (For example, I don't buy that business savings will be passed on to consumers.)

So I check the facts for myself.

Kim said...

Chrystal. I got my hydro bill today. HST is almost $6.00. Check your facts again.

Chrystal Ocean said...

I've not received my latest bill. When I do, I'll report back here re the HST.

Regarding your latest bill, Kim, do you see an "energy credit", per that link I provided in my previous comment?