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May 14, 2012

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s restaurant industry welcomes new legislation that brings the province closer towards the improved Provincial Sales Tax system that will replace the HST next April.

The legislation, tabled today, will reintroduce all the PST exemptions that were in place prior to the introduction of the HST – including restaurant meals. Liquor mark-ups will also be reduced to fully offset the additional 3% tax on liquor that will take place when the PST is reintroduced.

“British Columbia’s 12,000 restaurateurs and the 2.6 million guests they serve every day look forward to paying 7% less for restaurant meals,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President, Western Canada, Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).

“The CRFA has been meeting with the B.C. government for several months on this issue, and we are pleased the government is listening to the industry’s concerns,” von Schellwitz added.

CRFA forecasts that with the return to the PST exemption, a stronger economy, and rising employment, B.C.’s restaurant industry will grow a healthy 2.7% in 2013 when adjusted for inflation. That’s a stark contrast from the 3.3% drop in real restaurant sales last year, which was the worst performance out of all the provinces. Lost sales added up to about $475 million in the first year and three months since the HST was introduced.

B.C.’s $10-billion restaurant industry is an important economic force, representing 4.6% of the provincial economy and employing more than 173,000 people, or 7.6% of the provincial workforce.

All British Columbia businesses will appreciate PST improvements that will make compliance easier, such as on-line remittances and submission dates that align with the GST.

CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s restaurant industry employs more than one million people in communities across the country.

see press release from CRFA

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