Northerners Facing Affordability Crunch says Horgan & James
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government may have passed its third consecutive balanced budget in February, but it came with consequences.
That was the message NDP leader John Horgan and the party’s finance spokesperson Carole James brought to Prince George this morning.
Horgan and James are on a post-budget tour of communities without NDP MLA’s.
According to Horgan, the consequences of that balanced budget are plentiful.
“Reductions in funding for school boards, I’m sure the school board here has told you there is no low-hanging fruit on the tree. In fact the tree was cut-down some years ago,” said Horgan.”Health care is declining, we see an increase in hallway medicine and we didn’t hear that in the budget speech, we only heard the land is strong.”
He added the government has “taken $700 million in new fees and taxes from regular people through ICBC increases, BC Hydro increases, MSP increases, and camping fee increases.”
And what’s even more insulting according to Horgan, is the Liberal government gave a tax break to the top 2% of wage earners.
“They gave back $235 million to the richest people in B.C. and that wasn’t in the press release when the budget was tabled.”
Horgan said the budget is always about choices and the BC Liberals decided to give a tax break to the “richest 2% of British Columbians” when they could have provided tax breaks for “middle class British Columbians.”
“If we’re all tightening our belts, which is what we hear in any budget speech, then we should all tighten our belts, not just middle income earners.”
Carole James chimed in the 6% increase in BC Hydro fees hits Northerners the hardest.
“The hydro costs are huge, you don’t have a choice of turning your heat off in the winter time,” said James. “Nobody expects government to fix everything for them yet they don’t expect government to make their life tougher.”