Massage therapists say HST will hurt business
Massage therapists on P.E.I. are hoping to convince the finance minister the implementation of the harmonized sales tax will hurt their business.
Currently, anyone getting a massage is charged five per cent GST. On April 1, the more than 60 massage therapists in the province will have to charge nine percentage points more with the 14 per cent HST.
And that will discourage potential customers from using their service, said Marilyn Sparling of the Charlottetown Massage Therapy Clinic.
"That will raise most prices about $10. So that makes a huge difference in terms of how accessible it is to certainly lower- and middle-income people and certainly people who are fortunate enough to have extended health care plans, they will, of course, run out much faster."
Sparling and other massage therapists across P.E.I. will meet with Finance Minister Wes Sheridan next week. They hope to convince the minister that, as health-care providers, they should be exempt from charging the HST.
Sheridan said he's open to hearing why massage therapy should be exempt from the new tax. And he wants to see a detailed breakdown of just how the HST will affect their bottom line.
"You know, we're looking at changing regulations on Prince Edward Island with a number of health-care deliverers. And how's that going to be impacted. And we'll look at that as we move along," Sheridan said.
Last week, book retailers expressed concern that their businesses will suffer when the HST comes in.