VANCOUVER, B.C.: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is slamming B.C. politicians after they voted to keep using taxpayers’ money for partisan purposes on Monday.
“Politicians are taking about $30 million from taxpayers for lawn signs and attack ads and now they want to keep on doing it,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “It’s unacceptable that these politicians force us to foot the bills for their partisan claptrap.”
MLAs sitting on a special committee voted in favour of keeping the per-vote subsidy that takes $1.75 per vote from taxpayers. The committee votes were not recorded, and not one MLA voiced any opposition to continuing to take the money.
In 2017, Premier John Horgan said he had no intention of creating a per-vote subsidy. He told CFAX radio: “At no time have I said that I prefer to make public dollars responsible for political parties.”
After the election, Horgan’s government created the per-vote subsidy and additional taxpayer payments to political parties, insisting it would be temporary to wean the parties off of corporate and union money.
Political parties are now on track to take about $20 million from taxpayers through the per-vote subsidy by 2022, when the scheme was initially set to expire.
Taxpayers also pay for rebates to cover half of each parties’ expenses after each election campaign.
In total, the payments cost taxpayers about $30 million. That money could pay for:
“Politicians should get off of their backsides and get donations from their supporters instead of sneakily mooching it off of taxpayers through politician welfare,” said Sims. “It’s outrageous that not one MLA sitting on that committee voted against taking more taxpayers’ money. The only time politicians can agree is when they’re helping themselves to money from taxpayers.”
The legislature is planning to vote on the issue in October.