Commitments to Cut MSP, Address Opioid Crisis and Increase Taxes for Some
Minister of Finance Carole James delivers budget
Prince George , B.C. – Minister of Finance Carole James says the NDP budget update delivered today “Is a budget that puts people first”.
She says the budget calls for $51.9 billion dollars in spending, and $52.4 billion in revenue.
She says the wildfires over the summer have added another $600 million dollars in pressure on the budget, but the government is committed to spend $15 million over three years to upgrade Wildfire Service infrastructure, and will provide a tax credit for volunteer firefighters. and $140 million for wildfire risk reduction and reforestation.
Here are some other highlights:
- $290million to establish the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
- $32 million for law enforcement and the Coroners Service to address the opioid crisis
- $208 million over 4 years, to build more than 1700 units of affordable housing across BC
- 2,000 modular units for the homeless
- MSP premiums to be cut in half as of January 1, 2018, first step in total elimination of MSP over 4 years
- $472 million to provide an increase of $100 per month for both income and disability assistance; “That’s just the beginning” says James
- The elimination of tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges
- A $681-million increase for B.C.’s kindergarten-to-Grade 12 education system over three years, including $521 million to improve classroom supports for children for up to 3,500 new teaching positions, $160 million for enrolment growth and other pressures, along with $50 million in capital funding to provide the resources needed to help all children succeed;
- A new investment of $189 million over three years through a federal-B.C. agreement that helps seniors with improved home and residential care;
- $15 million over three years for the Healthy Kids Program, which provides hearing assistance benefits and improved rates for dental services;
- $19 million for free Adult Basic Education
- $7 million over three years in new funding for the Residential Tenancy Branch to ensure renters are treated fairly and that the rights and responsibilities of both renters and landlords are clearly understood.
- The establishment of an innovation commissioner, emerging economy task force and the fair wages commission;
- A $200-a-month increase to the earnings exemption for income and disability assistance recipients to help people connect to employment;
- Restoration of the tax benefit for credit unions;
- A reduction in the small business corporate income tax rate from 2.5% to 2%; and
- Phasing out the provincial sales tax on electricity to help support industry competitiveness and job growth.
- Introducing a personal income tax rate of 16.8% on taxable income over $150,000, up from 14.7%; and
- Increasing the general corporate income tax rate to 12% up from 11%.
- The Province will act to reduce carbon emissions by increasing the carbon tax rate on April 1, 2018, by $5 per tonne of CO2 equivalent emissions, while increasing the climate action tax credit to support low and middle-income families
- $14.6 billion in capital spending over three years