With less than four months to go until the HST kicks in, the government is backing a new report that finds the controversial tax will increase capital investment and create jobs — by the end of the decade.

According to economist and study author Jack Mintz, the HST along with corporate tax cuts will hike capital investment in the province by $14.4 billion and result in a net increase of 141,000 jobs by 2020.

While some industries may not benefit directly, the increase in international investment resulting from the reform will help all sectors of the economy, Mintz said in Vancouver yesterday.

“Of course there is going to be some additional tax on services,” said Mintz. “But in the end ... the business tax reductions will more than compensate for (that).”

Finance Minister Colin Hansen said the report confirms that the HST, along with corporate tax rate reductions, will dramatically improve the competitiveness of B.C. business.

But NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston said that promising a more internationally competitive province 10 years from now is cold comfort to those who are bracing for higher prices in 2010.

“Most people are concerned about the impact on consumer prices and (Mintz) just dismisses that,” he said. “He’s worried about (big) business and he should be worried about consumers.”

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