Business Proposal – Suspend PST for Two Years To Allow COVID Recovery

Vancouver – A business coalition called Stronger Tomorrow, Starting Today, is floating an idea to allow economic recovery in BC. Part of the proposal is the suspension of the BC Provincial Sales Tax for two years.

Colin Wong, Director, External & Strategic Communications – Business Council of British Columbia:

Stronger Tomorrow, Starting Today is a plan that calls on business, government, indigenous peoples, academia and the people of B.C. to work collaboratively, for a better tomorrow. It is a commitment, based on this plan, by B.C.’s leaders to invest, partner, and embrace bold actions that will get British Columbians rehired and employed in new jobs in every part of the province.We can be stronger tomorrow starting today, together benefiting all British Columbians and the generations that follow if we build confidence and act with purpose.

The core of the plan is focused on building the foundation for sustained growth, through a more innovative and affordable economy that encourages investment that grows businesses and that creates new jobs in the digital age.

These themes are:

1.Spur Economic Recovery…Starting Today

2.Improve Conditions for Hiring and Private Sector Investment

3.Empower People, Talent and Skills

4.Accelerate Homegrown Innovation

5.Make the World Cleaner and Protect the Environment

Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst for British Columbia and the North with CFIB Canadian Federation of Independent Business to FVN:

CFIB has long advocated for changes to the PST. Not only is it a cost burden to small businesses, it is also a red tape hurdle, as the policy itself is complicated to interpret in many scenarios. 
Running a small business can be difficult in the best of times, and the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for small business owners who face a uncertain future for the livelihood of their business. With many small businesses in debt (CFIB estimates the average BC business owner to have taken on $129,000 in debt) and struggling to recover revenues to pre-COVID levels (see Small business Recovery Dashboard with data here), there is an urgent need for financial relief. 
CFIB welcomes reform to the PST, and points to the BC Business Council’s new Stronger Tomorrow, Starting Today as a starting point for government to consider changes to the PST. Reducing, or suspending payments of the PST would have a significant positive impact on SMEs in BC, providing them with more financial flexibility to whether this storm. 

Kris Sims, BC Director with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation:

We are very happy to see ideas like this and we hope this happens.If we want British Columbians to have more money, getting the government to take away less of it makes sense. As we recover after the economic shutdown, every move like this helps. Giving us all a PST holiday is a good idea.  It’s clean and clear, and easy to measure. There are no ‘winners and losers’ being picked here, as we often unfortunately see with corporate welfare and other handouts – we just see a bold tax cut across the board which is fair and good for everyone.”

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