Canadian Pizza Magazine

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B.C. budget leaves restaurant industry hungry for answers




September 2, Victoria, B.C. – Yesterday’s
budget left the province's restaurant and foodservice industry hungry for
answers on how the government will offset the negative impact of the 12 per
cent HST on restaurant sales.



"As it stands, there is nothing in
this budget to offset the significant negative impacts of the HST on the
restaurant industry. Even Finance Minister Hansen recognizes that the
restaurant industry will be hurt by the HST," says Garth Whyte, president
and CEO of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).
"We are encouraged that the government has publicly stated that it is open
to working with us to mitigate the impacts."

CRFA estimates that the new 12 per cent HST
will cause more than as seven per cent drop in restaurant sales. When the GST
was introduced, restaurant sales in B.C. experienced their single greatest
annual decline.

"The HST will deliver a huge hit to
restaurant operators. The government is plucking $750 million from the
restaurant industry and it needs to find a way to give it back," says
Whyte.

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The HST adds up to "three strikes
against the restaurant industry," he says. "It's going to eat into
our sales, most of our costs aren't eligible for input tax credits, and there's
a five-year delay in the tax credits for business meals."