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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach seniors hiking group tackles alpine trails

Annual trip involves taking helicopter to remote locations

Parksville asks for help identifying veterans for special banner project

Program to honour veterans whose names are listed on Parksville cenotaph

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Process begins to try to get lookout trail over Nanoose Bay authorized

Regional District of Nanaimo staff will report back to parks and trails committee

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Poetry contest started for Vancouver Island poets

“We’re such a unique group,” says founder on why she wanted to start the collective

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Island MP says fish harvester benefit needs a wider application window

Courtenay-Alberni’s Gord Johns requests expanded application period for fish harvester benefits

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Most Read