Wednesday, January 6, 2010

BCE’s hypocritical hysteria over the TV Tax

2009 saw Canadians inundated with a series of TV, print and radio ads funded by BCE (along with their phone and cable company brethren) in an attempt to exploit Canadians as tools to help BCE oppose the onset of a possible TV Tax.

Thanks BCE, but I am intuitively opposed to any new tax that serves a dubious end purpose. I don't need your prodding.

It is for that reason that I am opposed to the TV Tax, since why should consumers have to carry the can of local TV?

It also explains why I am opposed to the HST, which is as dubious of a tax that I can think of, since why should consumers have to carry the can of large corporations and effectively underwrite their businesses through corporate tax breaks? This is where BCE and I differ and where BCE’s total hypocrisy comes in, since BCE is not so consistent in their thinking when it comes to new taxes on consumers like the HST.

You really have to wonder when BCE will learn to be a consumer oriented company more so than a full time corporate lobbying salon. How legitimate is it for BCE to be funding a major multi-million dollar ad campaign to foment Canadians’ opposition to a TV Tax, that might cost consumers as much as $10 a month (if BCE is to be believed), while at the same time BCE is issuing press releases in lock step and syncopated harmony with Jim Flaherty and Dalton McGuinty, that supports their HST, as follows:

"Business groups cheered [the HST announced by Ontario on Monday] because it means firms will pay no sales tax on machinery, equipment and other investment. Indeed, Bell Canada said Monday that, as a result of sales tax harmonization, it would accelerate a $1.5 billion investment it planned to make to upgrade its telecommunications network in Ontario. As has been the experience in other provinces in which Bell operates, savings from a single sales tax structure will accelerate our investment in Ontario. Fewer dollars going toward taxes in 2010 mean more dollars that Bell will reinvest in our networks and service in the province next year," said Bell CEO George Cope.

To decipher what this really means, BCE are simply saying that they more than happy that the HST allows Ontario consumers to be funding BCE’s purchase of new equipment that BCE will own and earn a profit from. You pay. They profit. Nice deal if you can get it. It’s called the HST. Found money for corporations to do with as they please. Pocket the money. Pay higher dividends to shareholders. Bigger bonuses to CEOs. They may even reinvest the money extracted from consumers and handed over to them to make a compound return for themselves. Any way you cut it, Corporations win. Consumers lose. Consumers are now paying for corporations’ ventures in trade, but with no stake to show for it.

The sole purpose of BCE’s much loved HST is to shift the tax burden from corporations, like BCE, onto the backs of consumers. Like you. Everything in Ontario will now be taxed at 13% under BCE’s much loved HST. Things as basic and fundamental as home heating costs will now be subject to an additional 8% tax. As merely an example this will mean I will pay another $320 a year to heat my home and receive nothing in return. It is not me however that I am concernd about, more so the senior citizen on afixed income who is the consumer I am most concerned about. Meanwhile BCE does not share my concern over the effects of HST on the living standards of those on fixed incomes. Instead corporations like BCE and TD Bank who intensely lobbied for this shifting of taxes will benefit. Whereas the 11,410,046 consumers in Ontario will not.

So BCE wants to whip me along with the public into a frenzy of discontent over a new TV Tax that might cost me, what? $120 a year, and meanwhile BCE is saying that they are big supporters on the HST and remain totally oblivious to what that means for Canadians. How can the TV Tax be bad and the HST be good? Illogical and hypocritical of BCE to say the least

When will BCE learn that it is not smart marketing to present two faces to the public in such a stark and hypocritical fashion. Please take your massive TV and radio ad campaign along with all its mock, phony “man on the street” interviews and shove it. We aren’t interested in being exploited as your tools, as you attempt to whip us into a frenzy over one inane tax that might cost us (or is it you?) as much as $120 year, while you slip the knife into our backs by cheer leading for tax that will cost every Ontario resident a vastly larger sum than a mere $120 a year, in perpetuity. All, so that consumers can fund your corporate adventures and misadventures and have nothing whatsoever to show for it, apart from an empty bank account.

Why is BCE not fomenting comsumers' outrage over the HST with a multi-million dollar TV, print and radio campaign opposing the HST as you did with the TV Tax? You wouldn't even have to pay professional actors to create phony man on the street outrage over the HST as you did with your TV tax ad campaign. Think of the money you could save. Imagine how much more credible and real that campaign would be, featuring the live and visceral disgust that consumers feel concerning the HST?

Oh, I forgot, you guys at BCE love the HST.

Meanwhile, we can do math. We can recognize hypocrisy. We are the consumers. You are the phone company. The two faced phone company known as BCE.


Dr Mike said...

BCE`s 1.5 billion to invest in infrastructure has to come from somewhere & that somewhere is you & I in Ontario as the Un-Green Shift takes place July 1st this year..

They are already gouging us an extra few bucks for something they call the "Contribution Fee to CRTC's LPIF " which is virtually unexplainable by Bell representatives.

Sure appears to help to have you hand on the throat of the gov`t doesn`t it.

Dr Mike Popovich

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