Sunday, 20 January 2013

Voice of the People | January 20, 2013

More extracts from The Chronicle Herald, Voice of the People section, Jan 20, 2013 on the subject of small business in NS and the NSLC.


David Beresford-Green, Fall River : NSTC next? 

Perhaps one reason for originally setting up the liquor corporation was to save the poor, ignorant populace from that pernicious substance called alcohol. But one has to wonder why there was never any government control over an even nastier substance called tobacco. 

Maybe Darrell Dexter is even now considering setting up Nova Scotia Tobacco Corporation, with only its outlets selling the product. I doubt he is, but on that basis consider the illogicality of the NSLC.

It should not be the government’s business to sell booze. The NSLC should be privatized and the province allowed to claw its way into the 21st century.

Kevin MacPherson, Halifax : Truly, taxpayers lose 

The old Latin expression “in vino veritas” (in wine there is truth) causes me to write concerning the great broohaha brewed up by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation and others. The simple truth is that the NSLC is afraid a small dent might be made in its fiscal bottom line. 

I am a senior taxpaying citizen of Nova Scotia. When I lived in my own home, I made wine as a hobby. Having moved to an apartment, I no longer have the space to brew my own “nectar of the gods.” I now rely on a young businessman to make my wine for me.

It is small businesses and bright young businessmen and women who are the backbone of economic advances. These people generate ideas which turn small adventures into profitable employment for themselves and others. This provides tax dollars for the government to judiciously use for services to Nova Scotians.

Should the NSLC fight these small businessmen in court, it will use taxpayers’ money to pay high-end lawyers against the minimal funds of the small businessmen. A David and Goliath struggle which favours the fiscal giant know as the NSLC.

The losers in this scenario are the taxpayers of Nova Scotia, for we would discourage other entrepreneurs from attempting to start small businesses. We would lose more of our tax base in an already tax-strapped province. And we would lose a source of excellent wine at an affordable price!

Tim Olive, Dartmouth : Win-win scenario 

Governments in Nova Scotia continue to ignore the need to privatize the NSLC. The recent harassment of wine store businesses is another example of why no government agency can operate retail businesses as efficiently as the private sector. 

Privatization means removal of 90 per cent of NSLC employees from the tax roll, creation of a new revenue source through small business taxes, retention of liquor tax revenue based on distribution of alcohol from a government warehouse to private-sector businesses, and elimination of all government-owned and -leased properties related to the NSLC monopoly. In addition, the private sector would move forward with interprovincial trade and co-operation in liquor distribution.

What part of the scenario that includes drastically reduced overhead while retaining tax revenue do civil servants and politicians not understand? Employees can continue working in a more realistic private-sector environment and if they choose not to, opportunities will grow for increased employment of those looking for work.

Safety, security, age checks for purchasers or easier access to alcohol are red herrings promoted by people with a personal interest in continuing NSLC and union benefits.

Wayne Myers, Dartmouth : Beating up little guy 

This is another example of the Dexter NDP government and his minister beating up the little guy. If it was a larger employer, they would attend a news conference with their money bag. 

The minister should support these small investors and companies, not have their conflict-of-interest NSLC beat them up and put jobs on the line — for what? The small amount of business the NSLC might get?

They should have better things to do with their high-end, high-priced and highly taxed products than beat on a few small business outlets and their employees. Oh well, the minister said it is not a high-priority item on her list — must go find a mill we can help.

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