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October 27, 2017 6:48 pm

Election Budget ‘Gives Back’

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 2:03 PM

Prince George, B.C.-  Finance Minister Mike de Jong  has delivered  his budget which  is aimed at “giving back”  to the taxpayers  in B.C.

The Province will cut Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums in half as a first step to eliminating them entirely as it becomes affordable.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, MSP premiums will be cut in half  for households with an annual net income of up to $120,000. Following this change, more than two million British Columbians will pay no premiums and a further two million will see a 50% reduction in their premiums . A typical family of four paying full premiums will save $900 per year in 2018. A single parent with net income up to $40,000 and two children will see their monthly premiums drop from $46 to $23. A family with net income less than $35,000 and two children will see their monthly premiums eliminated.

The Education budget will increase by $740 million over three years, including $228 million more to fund enrolment growth in B.C. schools, more than $9 million for rural education enhancement, student transportation, K-12 salary costs, continued funding for the Learning Improvement Fund, and an incremental $320 million over three years while government works to conclude a final agreement with the BC Teachers’ Federation on class size and composition.

The Ministry of Health will see a three-year increase of $4.2 billion, compared to its 2016-17 base budget.

An additional $796 million over three years to support families, individuals and children most in need, including:

  • $287 million over the next three years to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, of which $120 million is to begin addressing recommendations of the Grand Chief Ed John Report on Indigenous Child Welfare.
  • $199 million to fund a $600 per year increase to income assistance rates for persons with disabilities.
  • $175 million to provide income assistance supports for those in need, including $8 million to exempt additional child-related benefits, expected to help 600 families and 1,000 children.
  • $135 million over three years for community living services, primarily via Community Living BC.

There will also be a boost   for housing:

  • $920 million to support the creation of over 5,300 affordable housing units.
  • As well, the threshold for the first-time homebuyers’ program will be increased to $500,000, saving first-time buyers up to $8,000 in property transfer tax on the purchase of their first home.

Eliminating PST on electricity over the coming two years – saving small, medium, large and industrial businesses throughout the province $164 million by 2019-20,

The small business corporate income tax rate  will be  trimmed to 2% from 2.5%.

The Province will  $13.7 billion over three years in capital projects such as roads, hospitals and schools.

The budget predicts  $50.8 billion  in revenues  and $50.2 billion in expenditures.

Some of the  highlights of the  budget  have already been revealed such as  the $50 increase in monthly  disability payments, $29 million  to school districts for school supplies, $140 million to improve mental health services, and $5 million to address the opioid crisis.


The ABCs of how to buy votes.. as for MSP.. stop,paying a foreign company to collect these fees.. why is BC one of the few to still pay MSP if we have so much money…why are our ICBC rates always going up,if we have so much extra cash laying around..why are my hydro rates increasing ?

Just elect me budget in the end will they really follow through as in the past no and if they do guess what fees will increase. And at some point have to deal with the ballooning 168 Billion we are in the hole from borrowing. Election give away again have fun.

So who gives a ____ if they are buying votes! If any of the above effects you give it back pronto! Sure, that is going to happen! And NOP will do better? See my previous abbreviations for that party on my reply. It’s a start in the right direction.

    Hello, don’t you see a pattern….it happens every election no matter what party is in power..

    The first two years they do nothing but take take take.. increase in fees, taxes, hydro, insurance etc.. then the year before the election all this “extra” money shows up.. it’s a miracle..

    Btw you never get back what they take.. we may soon stop paying MSP ..but other things will increase to cover the cost.. it’s the circle of life in politics.

Interesting. So if a couple makes $120,001.00, that extra dollar costs them $900.00 in tax – I mean – insurance premiums. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a tax rate of 900% anywhere in the world.

Let’s see what do we have here; Promise to cut MSP Premiums in half; Public Education budget to increase; Our Public Health will see a huge increase in funding; Big increase in funding for a variety of Social Services; Increase in Social Housing; a reduction in small business tax.

OMG everyone! The BC Liberals just turned NDP!!!

    Don’t worry BH. Horgan and his cronies will complain about it anyway.

    Remember BH, Christmas only comes once every 4 years :)

Hey there, Majority of B.C.ers, we voted right the last time, even if the polls screwed up. Time to do it again! Rock On!

I like the budget. Cut small business taxes more. Small business runs this country. I wish they posted a larger surplus. Time to pay down the debt a little more.

    They haven’t paid down the debt at all. In fact, it’s increased by $30 Billion since CC took over.

So after years of stealing through taxes, Ripping off Hydro and ICBC, sticking it to senior citizens, children and sick people they have built up a surplus on our backs…. “If” we get re-elected you get to keep some of this…. maybe we will just find some other tax to get the money back… gimme a break.
Tired and worn out old Socreds…. ooops Liberals.

What is the Complaint ,we pay less Taxes or Premiums .Remember Taxes provide Services.
Take a look at the MSP Chart , if your Income is low you pay less!
If I would make a 120000 plus , I would not complain to pay 900.00 to the MSP!

    Everyone I know who makes more than $120,000 have all their medical including premiums paid by their employer..so there is NO savings to the individual person… but sure sounds good..

      I wonder how many will pick that up..

The Libs would probably love to scrap the MSP. But then where would the billions generated come from?
Like it or not, the MSP helps to pay for our very expensive ‘free’ healthcare system.

    Tax cut top 2% got them up to $39,000 per year while everyone below that $400,000 per year got $50.

    I can’t believe that people will vote against their best interests when it comes to the Liberals

    ICBC, BC Hydro and MSP raises plus the property transfer tax gets them surpluses and the middle class pays and pays.

    Clark and their gang haven’t voluntarily increased funding for schools, they were forced to. They haven’t increased doctors and nurses or funding for senior care – they don’t care.

    Ten years ago, the premier was paid $121,100. Last year, Christy Clark claimed $195,000. That’s a 61% pay increase. Cabinet ministers are being paid 34% more. Welfare and foster parents haven’t had an increase in 10 years and disability went up $50 with a claw back of $52 for a bus pass.

    Never mind that they sell our resources for pennies. Don’t be fooled, Christy Clark is a liar and you will see increases in all areas if they are elected again, it happened last time.

      Great partisan rant Annie, but Christy Clark’s salary doesn’t address the MSP conundrum. The education system, healthcare system and social services all demand more more more. There is only one taxpayer.

      Don’t forget Clark charging just shy of $500,000 for just ONE on her credit card we pay.

      Yes the NDP are so socialist they run the province for free. Maybe check out an NDP MLAs credit card – I am sure you will find unicorns flying around with a balance of zero. They used this argument at the federal level as an excuse last election and look where it got us, those who now run the federal budget are so careful with how they spend the taxpayers money now I just have to dance and throw flowers into the air

    I wish they would scrap the MSP system and raise taxes instead. The MSP system is a costly bureaucracy whose sole purpose is to collect money. Eliminate MSP and all the people employed to collect it. It’s really duplication of effort. There’s a mistaken belief that if we pay for medical services we’ll value them. But in reality, we have the belief we get medical services, and then we spend 5 hours in Emergency watching people who we’re pretty damn sure have never paid taxes or MSP plug up the cue. So it’s a double insult. We have to pay for something, but when it comes to use it, stand in line.

    Might as well just tax us a little more, and make it all “free”.

      This is correct.

BH, this must take the wind completely out of your sails….and the KGB…er NDP is going to have a hard time finding a way to not like this budget!
Looks like you got out flanked on the right…out flanked on the left…and thoroughly thumped up the middle!
Horgan the Hore must be spinning right now!

Don’t believe anything the BC Liberals say. Who is to say that they will ever follow through with any of these announcements. As anniemartin says they are liars and I have to agree.

    It is called a budget, that is where money is set aside. Great to be in a province that has a surplus and can spend some more

    It is called a budget, that is where money is set aside. Great to be in a province that has a surplus and can spend some more

      Don’t forget to brag about one of the highest poverty rates for children…..

      Also brag about increasing the debt by over $30 Billion dollars while running a “balanced budget.”

      children were still in poverty when the NDP forced single mothers with children over 12 to get a job and get off welfare. What were the contributing factors to poverty rates over 10 years with a 10 dollar increase in welfare rates from the time NDP took office to when they vacated? Socialists quickly turn capitalist when they take office.

These guys just bought, I mean got my vote.

These guys just bought, I mean got my vote.

” Fool me once shame on you”
“Fool me twice” well you cant get fooled again, George Bush” it would seem that this would be sage advice when dealing with this BC goverment

I see the Liberals changed the date for lowering the premiums for BC Medical. It was originally to have changed jan 2017 and now they are making sure they get votes before they supposedly drop them 2018.

It appears as if they are definitely doing everything they can to BUY VOTES.

Nice to see them spending some of the surplus in the budget. NDP has no budget as they are not in power, if they were in power – instead of telling you where they are going to spend money in the future they would be “buying” your vote with a deficit

    BC has a deficient..we owe… how can any province who owes money have extra laying around…?

    It’s all funny bean counting..but again, looks good on paper…

      Same way you can have money in the bank laying around while having a car payment or mortgage. You still owe, but your take home pay is higher than your expenses so you have money left over

    Our debt has increased by $30 Billion dollars while running “balanced budgets.” Please explain how there is extra money to spend with debt still increasing.

      Because you don’t understand the difference between surplus-deficit and debt

      Gordon used surplus to pay down debt, we are seeing surplus spent on programs rather than paying down the provincial debt. Taxpayer supported debt is about 45 billion total debt 66 billion. Learn to read a budget sheet

Do people not understand the difference between the annual budget and the provincial balance sheet?
The operating budget can be compared to your household budget. This budget will include everything you spend to keep your household running. This budget will of course include amounts necessary to repay long term debt such as the mortgage on your house, the loan on your car, and if your a little more extravagant the loans on your toys. The long term debt is a liability on your balance sheet, and the value of the assets is the on the asset side of the balance sheet.
Id you have money left over at year end from operating your household and amortizing debt, you have a budget surplus. If you have to dip into savings at year end then you have a budget deficit.
In most cases your home is worth more than it’s mortgage so while the mortgage appears as a debt, if you sold the corresponding asset, you actually have a surplus.
So let’s compare to the provincial situation. We have an accumulated debt of say $160 Billion. What are the assets of the province worth? I would suggest that they are worth substantially more than the debt, so on a balance sheet the province has a positive net worth.
On the operating side, the province is projecting that they will spend less than what it takes to fund all programs, plus amortize the accumulated debt, so similar to your household when there is money left in the kitty at year end, it is a surplus budget.

    Except the province doesn’t include capital projects, or their financing, as part of their operating budget. So all the money they’re promising to spend on new capital projects is all borrowed money.

    So, in your example, if your house needed a new roof you wouldn’t pay for that out of your household budget or out of savings. You would borrow that money and start paying interest (but not actually paying anything on the principal) out of your household budget. If you needed a new driveway the next year, it’s the same, you borrow more money, pay more interest and not pay anything on the capital. Would you consider your overall budget balanced where you’re increasing your debt every year and cant afford to pay off any of the principle?

    That’s where the province is, continually increasing debt, paying more and more interest on that debt and not paying down the principle. When the province’s credit rating gets hammered due to BCH’s site C fiasco, our interest payments will increase having a huge impact on our operating budget. Good luck to whichever party is in power then.

      Gordo paid down principle, now they are using surplus to fund projects rather than pay down the principle. The budget is available online, you don’t have to get your false news from the Tyee just learn how to read a budget document. Brackets are negative – no brackets positive. In millions means a thousand is a billion, simple stuff really

      That’s great slinky, you keep saying that. I’m not disputing that Gord paid down the principle and you’re not disputing that it’s now growing bigly. What part of my analogy is incorrect?

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