Every February the government releases a new provincial budget, and every year, the government has to make choices about what it is going to do with your tax dollars.
This year, the BC Liberals made a very clear choice; they chose to reward British Columbia’s most wealthy and privileged citizens, and they chose to hurt those with low or median incomes.
One of the most significant choices that the BC Liberals made was to cut taxes to the wealthiest 2% which will result in a loss of revenue to the province of nearly a billion dollars over the next 4 years. That’s a billion dollars that will no longer be there to spend on education, healthcare, highways and other service that British Columbians rely on.
The cost of living is rising for BC’s middle class and those on fixed incomes. Deliberate choices in this budget are resulting in rising rates for BC Hydro, ICBC and MSP. BC Hydro will go up 6% in 2015. ICBC rates are up 5.2%. Medical Services Plan premiums go up 4%. For Hydro, MSP and ICBC alone, the average increase per family will be $175 this year.
If we look back to the 2013 election campaign, Christy Clark promised a Debt Free BC. But since the last election, the debt will be increased by $28 billion. The BC Liberals have increased BC’s debt by $130 billion since they were first elected.
But where is all that money going?
There is no real money for the Trans-Canada Highway twinning project that has been promised so many times.
Public school funding does not meet costs, yet in this budget the BC Liberals found money to increase public funding to private schools.
And despite the fact that we pay ever increasing MSP premiums, health ministry funding does not meet the public need.
The BC Liberals chose once again to reward their political friends. The top 2% got a billion dollars while everyone else got less. These are the reasons that I will be voting against BC Liberal Budget 2015.
Norm Macdonald MLA Columbia River Revelstoke | firstname.lastname@example.org | 1-866-870-4188