NDP government to unveil first budget today

Andrew Cummings
September 13, 2017

James adds September is when most governments begin working on full budgets that are often presented in February.

The B.C. government, through its budget and policies, creates the economic climate central to attracting critical investment in important sectors such as mineral exploration and development in the province.

Effective April 1, personal income tax goes up two per cent on income over $150,000 a year, restoring an increase put in place by the B.C. Liberals before the 2013 election and removed two years later.

The Budget 2017 Update tabled by James forecasts a surplus of $246 million this fiscal year. "We're putting people first by improving the services they need and making their lives more affordable while supporting a strong, sustainable economy that provides good jobs throughout our province".

The budget commits to spending $208 million over four years to build about 1,700 units of affordable rental housing.

The Budget 2017 update also confirms increased funding of $18 million to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources over the next three years to support mine permitting and oversight, including compliance and enforcement.

The B.C. government is going ahead with a 50 per cent cut to Medical Services Plan premiums at the start of 2018, and the application process is being scrapped to make it easier for individuals and employers.

Premier John Horgan and the NDP promised a number of costly initiatives on the campaign trail, such as $10-a-day daycare, investments in public transit and expanded health-care infrastructure, including new hospitals and patient care centres.

The Green Party wants universal child care offered as a taxable benefit, so there is no up-front cost and parents pay on their income tax based on their earnings for the year, Weaver said. PST is not charged on residential electricity bills, and B.C.is one of few places where the tax applies to business bills.

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