B.C. Liberal finance critics Shirley Bond and Tracy Redies respond to first NDP budget. (Black Press)

BC BUDGET: Liberals blast ‘tax and spend’ plan

Payroll tax, carbon tax increase threaten growth, opposition critics say

The NDP minority government will keep B.C. finances in the black for the next three years, thanks to strong economic growth, Finance Minister Carole James says.

But B.C. Liberal finance critics Shirley Bond and Tracy Redies says they shouldn’t count on that growth as they add to the business tax burden, with a payroll tax to replace Medical Services Plan revenues and a carbon tax that is rising and no longer revenue neutral.

“This is a government that continues to have a massive spending promises and very little attention paid to revenue generation in the province,” Bond said. “If you can imagine adding a payroll tax, a carbon tax, the list of taxes is lengthy, on the very people that the NDP government are assuming will grow the economy.”

Redies said the NDP’s first budget predicts an 11 per cent increase in personal income tax revenue in the next year, equivalent to $1,000 for each family.

“On the resource side, revenues are actually predicted to drop in our core industries,” Redies said. “That should be astounding for British Columbians, that this government is predicting resource revenues, forestry, mines to decrease over the next three years.”

RELATED: Payroll tax to replace medical premiums

James’ first full budget predicts a surplus of $219 million in the fiscal year starting April 1, with surpluses of more than $280 million in the next two years. That is despite what the government describes as record investments in housing and child care and another large increase in health care spending.

The latest projections from the finance ministry show increased taxation and resource revenues this year, offset by $884 million less revenue from ICBC and $183 million more than forecast in wildfire costs for 2017-18.

Economic growth is projected to be 2.3 per cent in 2018, up from 2.1 per cent estimated last September.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Realtors battle it out over Park Avenue, the Electric Company, and the railroads

Third Realtor Monopoly fundraiser held in Langley to help New Hope Community Services

Langley school board chair hopes B.C. vaping changes clear the air

Local schools have found it a challenge to prevent students from vaping, chair says

Langley police investigating stolen boots, credit cards, booze, and beauty products

Anyone with information on these local crimes is asked to contact the non-emergency phone number

Christmas markets galore around Aldergrove this weekend

The holiday season has begun early in Aldergrove and its surrounding areas.… Continue reading

VIDEO: Operation Red Nose B.C. kicks off season in Langley

Volunteer ride service welcomed back into community after two year absence

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

UPDATE: Metro Vancouver bus drivers to refuse overtime as transit strike escalates

Overtime ban could disrupt 10-15 per cent of bus service in Metro Vancouver

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

South Surrey man and city settle beef over backyard cow

Asad Syed, who kept a calf on his property last year, met City of Surrey in court Tuesday

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Most Read