Monday November 1, 2010

Political News


Gordo, It's Time

Liberals face mounting pressure to exit stage right

Submitted by Rebecca Helps, Green Party


he premier's speech last night will not change the minds of BC voters and it will not improve Campbell's political prospects within his own party," said Jane Sterk, leader of the Green Party of BC. "The speech demonstrated that Campbell is out of ideas and that he still thinks he can buy people's support. He doesn't seem to appreciate the extent of the disgust and anger his government has engendered.

"The Campbell government believes that the private sector is the only part of the economy that matters and that tax cuts are necessary to stimulate economic activity, in other words to get people consuming. It is an ideologically driven economic philosophy which has been proven wrong.

"The Liberals cut income taxes on their first day of office in 2001 and that sowed the seeds of the current economic malaise. Further income tax cuts over their tenure just added to the problem and we now see ourselves with a huge deficit and increasingly unmanageable debt.

"If those tax cuts had not been made, we would not be running a deficit right now despite the global economic crisis. In light of the tenuous economic recovery and fears of a double dip recession globally, further tax cuts right now risk bringing more strain to the economy and plunging BC into another recession.

"The Premier's statement that the BC Liberal government had to adopt the HST immediately or they would have had to wait until 2011 for another opportunity was telling. Why not wait? Two years is an instant in the life of an economy and making a change like this impulsively was predictably irresponsible. It has created instability in the economy and the premier's bungling of the process has meant all other government decisions take a back seat to defending the HST decision.

"Trying to sell the $1.6 billion transfer as a solution to social service funding was insulting to British Columbians. And the listing of why HST is good for BC was repetitive and uninspiring.

"Campbell has made one error after another and each is compounding the problem. His decision to make the Initiative on HST a referendum was shocking. The delay in knowing whether the tax will stay has stopped economic activity in areas like new home sales and put builders in an untenable position.

"We have further reductions in income taxes that are not tied in any way to the result of the HST referendum. When voters go to the polls in September 24, 2011 to be, as the premier said, the finance minister for a day, they will likely vote to rescind the HST. The costs of rescinding the HST and paying back the $1.6 billion in addition to the loss of revenue from income taxes will create an added economic burden that will have to be made up in some way.

"Campbell seems to think it will come through heightened resource revenues but that can only happen if we continue to sell off BC at fire sale prices. It's just not going to happen. The BC Liberals better have a plan for what to do then.

"Campbell is too impulsive and rigid in his thinking and he has run out of ideas. He seems incapable of developing a sound strategy for the economy and it is time for him to step aside," concluded Sterk.

About the Green Party of BC

The Green Party of BC is the only major party in BC today with no debt. A Green economy would run on the principles of triple-bottom-line accounting, rewarding organizations and individuals that practise environmental, social and economic sustainability and aligning government expenditure decisions with citizens' wishes.



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