VICTORIA — British Columbia’s restaurant industry was left out in the cold again, as yesterday’s budget failed to alleviate any of the pressure operators will face with the introduction of HST in July.
“The province broke a promise to our industry when they introduced the HST, and today they have broken another one by offering nothing in the budget to lessen the impact on our industry,” says Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president Western Canada for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).
First the B.C. government promised they wouldn’t introduce HST or change taxation on food without consulting with the CRFA. Then they promised to work with the industry to decrease the negative impact of the levy, which will appear as a new seven per cent charge on restaurant meals while food in competing grocery stores remains mostly tax-free.
Suffice it to say, the 200,000 signatures collected in opposition of the new tax on restaurant meals hasn’t been met with much government support.