Canadian Pizza Magazine

B.C. restaurants speak out against HST

By Canadian Pizza   


August 4, 2009, Vancouver – Ninety-one per cent of restaurant owners say a harmonized sales tax in British Columbia will have a negative impact on their business, according to a survey of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association’s 4,000 B.C. members.

Eighty-five per cent of respondents said the HST will
have a “significantly negative” impact and six per cent said it would have a “slightly negative” impact.  Only nine per cent responded that it will have no impact or a positive impact on business.

 “The survey results echo what we’ve been hearing loud and
clear in emails, phone calls  and faxes
from our members over the past two weeks,” says Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA vice president Western Canada. “Adding a seven per cent PST onto the 5 per cent GST will more than double
the sales tax on restaurant meals. This will result in a dramatic decrease in
consumer spending on eating out.”


When asked specifically how the HST will impact their
business, 90 per cent of respondents said their customers will cut back on spending,
and 71 per cent said they will have to cut back on staff or staff hours.

“Restaurants are at the heart of every community in British
Columbia, and an important employer for people of all ages and walks of life,” says Garth Whyte, CRFA p-resident and CEO.  “The HST announcement has created a great
deal of uncertainty for our members.  It
is clear they are deeply concerned about the damage the HST will do to their
business. We will be looking to the B.C. government and the federal
government to fix this major tax shift onto the restaurant sector.” 


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