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

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

LNG Canada to build two salt marshes

Offsets will mitigate the effect of construction

Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task

Kitimat opens its arms, and its hearts, to wildfire evacuees

Emergency Social Services invites volunteers to apply

Massive ship arrives in Kitimat this weekend

The 26,890-ton heavy load carrier Transshelf will offload dredging vessels

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read