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De Dutch denounces HST

Diners at De Dutch restaurants across British Columbia are being served a political message along with their "pannekoeks."

The Dutch-style pancake house chain launched a campaign against the proposed harmonized sales tax (HST), complete with messages on the menu and postcards adressed to Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

"As a life-long BC resident, proud business owner and active member of the local foodservice sector, I believe it is pertinent to share information with our franchisees and customers regarding the real impact that this tax will have on everyone's livelihood," stated De Dutch president Bill Waring in a press release today.

"Come July 1st, 2010, we will all have 7% less to spend on restaurant meals...This concerns me as a BC consumer, business owner and employer."

Under the new tax, certain goods and services - including restaurant meals - would no longer be exempt from the seven per cent provincial sales tax.

Last week the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association gave up all-out opposition to the HST, but asked that the provincial government delay its introduction until the economy picks up.

Waring said his goal is to create enough opposition to stop the tax, but failing that, wants the foodservice industry to continue to be exempt from the PST portion.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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