Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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BC Government brags about $1.3 billion surplus from tax increases

Last week the BC NDP gave themselves a big pat on the back and reported a $1.3 billion surplus with some critics calling it a slush fund while British Columbians struggle to survive.

The BC NDP has been saying for years it’s tackling housing affordability and more recent they have been saying for months they are working on ways to help relive the pressure of inflation and high fuel costs on British Columbians, but nothing has yet come to the table.

On Tuesday, August 30, 2022, Finance Minister Selina Robinson boasted about B.C.’s economic recovery last year being more than forecast. The province’s audited budget showed a $1.3 billion surplus compared to the projected $10 billion deficit.

Both public and private sectors of the province’s economy in 2021-22 outperformed predictions. The April 2021 budget, originally forecast a deficit of $9.7 billion.

The improvement, according to Robinson, can be attributed to the economy’s recovery and the resulting rise in tax revenue, as well as one-time federal contributions for COVID-19 and disaster events, higher natural resource revenues, and higher earnings at Crown corporations, particularly at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

However, the BC Opposition Liberal finance critic Peter Milobar said the government should have moved faster to provide relief to British Columbians.

The New Democrats knew their budget was headed for a surplus last spring, but waited until late summer to announce assistance plans, he said.

“We’ve been calling for relief since March,” said Milobar on Tuesday, adding the Liberals proposed temporarily suspending gas taxes, speeding up climate action rebate payments and asking the government to deliver on its past election promise of a $400 rent rebate.

“These are measures that should have been introduced,” he said.

“We’ve been told something will happen next week. It shouldn’t have taken five months.”

Sonia Furstenau, the leader of the Green Party, said that while one million British Columbians lacked a primary care physician and ambulance services were either delayed or nonexistent, the government had been building a budget surplus.

“We have so many crises in this province right now, this is not a time for the government to pat itself on the back because of a surplus,” she said.

The BC Government shouldn’t be celebrating the surplus because they have only made life harder for British Columbians while the cost of living continues to increase with the rise of taxes and introduction of taxes.

The Colonist reports the $1.3 billion is strikingly the same amount as the property transfer tax revenues last year. This would show the BC NDP is heavily reliant on the out of control real estate market just as much as the BC Liberals were.

“Make no mistake, this is not a surplus fueled by responsible fiscal policy.” Carson Binda with the Taxpayer foundation told BC Rise.

The government continues to dip its fingers in to the bank accounts of struggling British Columbians “raising taxes on Canadian families and businesses while still claiming to care about affordability.”

The average home in British Columbia have been forecast to sell for $1 million in 2022 which “is a slap in the face” to anyone looking to buy a place to live. Not only is the price to buy a home going up , the rental market is eating up nearly 40% of people’s monthly income.

Inflation has been out of control and the increase in carbon tax touches on every aspect of life. Binda also points out if you earn more than $46,567 you will not see any money back from the carbon tax, which doesn’t really help people that need the help. This is taking money from struggling British Columbians and giving it to other struggling British Columbians.

The carbon tax increases cost for almost everything in people’s lives like producing food and fuel for transportation of people and goods and also to heat a home in the cold Canadian winters, especially in the rural areas of the province.

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