BC Budget: Bigger debt and bigger spending
BC government hikes carbon tax and piles on more debt
VICTORIA, BC: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is disappointed that the new BC government is hiking taxes, boosting spending and increasing the debt.
“BC taxpayers will pay more for heating their homes, driving their cars and running their businesses in the wake if this budget, because the carbon tax is going up and it isn’t even going to be ‘revenue neutral’ anymore,” said Kris Sims, BC Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “The government has also cancelled the requirement to report where the carbon taxes taken from British Columbians go – this is now just going to be another buried tax grab that we are all forced to pay.”
The BC government is also adding to the provincial debt, boosting it by $6.9 billion between now and the 2019-20 fiscal year. That means the provincial debt is forecast to balloon from $65.9 billion to a total of $72.8 billion over the next three years.
Finance Minister Carole James noted that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is a “risk to the fiscal plan” for the province.
“We agree that ICBC is a risk to the fiscal plan for the province, which is why ICBC should be mutualized, turned into a co-op and opened up to private sector competition to reduce rates,” Sims added. “Taking ICBC out of the hands of governments would save BC drivers money and it would prevent governments from taking money out of ICBC to balance their budgets.”
The CTF was pleased to see the Medical Services Premium (MSP) is being cut in half on the way to being completely eliminated and supports the reduction in the small business income tax rate.
The CTF also supports the PST being reduced by half and then eliminated from industrial electricity bills.
In addition to the carbon tax hike, the CTF is further disappointed that income taxes for higher income earners are going up to 16.8 per cent and the general business income tax rate is going up to 12 per cent.