BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson added some intrigue to this year’s snap election by promising, the seven-percent provincial sales tax would be eliminated for a year if elected.
Wilkinson mentioned the cut is needed to assist struggling businesses during the pandemic.
The announcement raised the eyebrows of UNBC Political Science Lecturer Jason Morris who spoke with Vista Radio.
“Any economist will tell you that when there are decisions made about money there are positives and negatives and also, they can’t always predict the impact. I would say that political opponents are going to say that this is political pandering and I wonder if both arguments may be true.”
However, if the Liberals reclaimed government, Morris doesn’t see a scenario where education or health care services would be impacted.
“I don’t see in terms of program areas like health care and education, which are basically ingrained as part of the Canadian identity that we would see any drastic if any cuts to those vital social programs.”
After a year, Wilkinson said the PST would be brought back at a three-percent rate until the economy fully recovered from the pandemic.
Morris stated the move might not go over well with the public.
“If we look ahead from that it probably makes it difficult to increase any tax back, which is also part of his promise, people won’t like that very much.”
Morris believes Wilkinson’s proposal is similar to what former Prime Minister Stephen Harper did when he reduced the GST by two percent, a move that captured the interest and support of many people.
However, NDP leader John Horgan is raising some concern as to what programs the BC Liberals would cut in order to pay for their promise.