MLA decries BC Hydro rate increase

Tuesday’s BC Liberal budget contains an unfair and hidden tax on consumers by forcing a 29 per cent increase on BC Hydro ratepayers, says Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald.

“The BC Liberals have found a new way to tax the average citizen that they hope you will never notice,” said Macdonald.  “Buried deep in this week’s provincial budget is a requirement for BC Hydro, a crown corporation, to provide an extra $254 million to government this year alone, and the only way for BC Hyrdo to do that is to increase hydro rates.”

The provincial government’s three-year fiscal plan calls for BC Hydro to increase electricity rates by 9.11 per cent this year, 12.92 per cent in 2011, and 4.81 per cent in 2012.

“The revenue generated through the rate increase will flow through BC Hydro directly into the Province’s general revenue; that’s a tax pure and simple.”

And it is a tax that will hit people on fixed incomes the hardest while many large industrial hydro users are exempt from rate increases through Heritage Rate contracts.

“This is just another example of this government’s plan to shift the tax burden away from those who can most afford to pay onto middle and low income British Columbians.”