Updated: BC Liberals promise to axe PST for a year

The BC Liberals rolled into Richmond on Monday with a big election promise – the elimination of PST for one year.

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said they would then follow that by cutting it to three per cent in year two, “until the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Wilkinson made the announcement at the London Drugs distribution centre in south Richmond, one week into the election, saying the measure is meant to stimulate the economy.

“Everyone knows we’re in a big economic crisis – this is not a time to worry about the details as much to get people back to work,” Wilkinson said.

This would mean almost $7 billion less in revenue for the province, but, Wilkinson said, it wouldn’t result in any cuts to government programs like health or education.

“We will not be cutting any of those services because in a time like this that’s exactly when they’re needed,” he added.

When asked whether this would keep B.C. in a deficit, Wilkinson responded by saying every western country is expecting to be in a deficit position over the next few years.

The BC Liberals say the PST elimination would save an average family about $1,700 in the first year alone, followed by an additional $979 in the second year.

- with files from Maria Rantanen

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