NDP protests tax cut for top earners

B.C. Liberals rewarding the "champagne and caviar set" while raising fees for middle class, John Horgan tells finance minister

NDP leader John Horgan

VICTORIA – Reducing income taxes for the top two per cent of wage earners cost the B.C. government $230 million that should have gone mainly to middle income earners, NDP leader John Horgan says.

Horgan and NDP finance critic Carole James focused on the measure in Tuesday’s B.C. budget to end the tax increase on income over $150,000 a year. They acknowledged other measures to help low-income people but Horgan said “the middle class was left behind today.”

Horgan stepped up the attack in the legislature Wednesday in his question period exchange with Finance Minister Mike de Jong.

“I can appreciate that the minister was celebrating with the champagne-and-caviar set yesterday, but the rest of British Columbia saw $700 million in increased fees and taxes on their backs,” Horgan said. “Middle-income families are paying the freight, and you, the B.C. Liberals, deliberately and with intent chose to give a quarter of a billion dollars to people who didn’t even ask for it.”

De Jong brought the 2.1 per cent increase increase on the top tax bracket in 2013, and also increased the corporate tax rate by one per cent in order to present a balanced budget for the 2013 election.

De Jong said his commitment was to remove the personal tax increase after two years and this week’s budget follows through on that pledge.

James said middle-income families are taking the brunt of rate increases for car insurance, ferry fares and BC Hydro, and the services available to them are declining.

“We’re seeing hallway medicine. We’re seeing overcrowded classrooms. We’re seeing less support for seniors,” James said.

Horgan pointed to modest tax breaks for high technology and film production industries, while four times as much government assistance is going to resource roads to develop B.C.’s natural gas export business.

With a surplus nearing $1 billion for the fiscal year ending in March, Horgan said his priorities would have included help for manufacturing in the forest sector to take advantage of a lower Canadian dollar.

 

Just Posted

Airbnb hosts earning millions in the Okanagan

The Okanagan was among the list of three Canadian wine markets.

UPDATE: One dead, two in hospital after Highway 1 crash near Bridal Falls

Closure expected to last hours, while drivers are told to take detours

Pawnshops support curbing crime with digital database

At least two pawnshops in Penticton are in support of upgrading to a digital list of items purchased

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

Walk to end abuse for those who can’t

SOWINS’s Debbie Scarborough points to the lethal potential in intimate partner abuse

Buy a lotto ticket and be a hero to B.C. burn victims

The Hometown Heroes Lottery is offering up seven grand prizes including a home in Lake Country

UPDATE: Grass fire burns near Mission Hill winery

Smoke can be seen around West Kelowna as a fire gets underway near Mission Hill

Vernon SAR manager wins national volunteer award

A Vernon Search and Rescue manager was one of those honoured for her dedication and innovation.

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Most Read