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 school district board reiterates support for 8-lane track at Ballenas Secondary

Officials pen another letter to Regional District of Nanaimo to clarify position

Public health forum in Parksville Jan. 30

Island Health will provide an update for the region

Cinema society concerned about bus garage property sale in Qualicum Beach

Group planned on commissioning a feasibility study for multi-use cinema

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Most Read