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

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

How the provincial budget will play out in northwestern B.C.

Price of gasoline to rise and expect MSP premiums to disppear

Snow bikers have a lucky escape on Claque Mountain

Their experience highlights the importance of being properly prepared in the backcountry

Access to naloxone kits made easier

They’re now available from pharmacies

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Police watchdog probes B.C. man’s taser death in alleged parental child abduction

Independent Investigations Office called in after one male dies

PHOTOS: Harnessing diverse abilities on the court at the B.C. Games

Basketball is one of two Special Olympics events at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

B.C. VIEWS: Our not-so-New Democrats don’t rock the boat

Finance Minister Carole James takes the wheel, steers similar course

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canadians all smiles after record medal haul

Team Canada is taking home a record 29 medals from Pyeongchang – 11 gold, eight silver, 10 bronze

‘All of us should be ashamed’: Calls for change after jury finds Raymond Cormier not guilty

Jury acquitted Raymond Cormier in the death of Tina Fontaine after 11-hour deliberation

B.C. girl hopes DNA drive will help her find birth parents in China

Isabelle Smit, 10, is one of 20 international adoptees from Chongqing looking for DNA samples

That’s a wrap: Day 2 of B.C. Games ends with multiple ties in gold, bronze

Vancouver-Coastal Zone 5 continues to lead, so far earning 25 gold, 32 silver and 25 bronze

Most Read