A B.C. NDP government would implement $10 a day daycare, provide renters with a $400 rebate, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, increase affordable housing, and give university students who graduate $1,000.
Those are just a few of the things included in the NDP’s “Working For You” platform unveiled by leader John Horgan today (April 13, 2017), and some of them had been revealed earlier.
Overall, Horgan said the NDP would increase capital spending by $7 billion over three years, deliver a $10- million surplus in its first budget year, and include $717 million in new spending.
Some of it would be paid for with the Liberal government’s Prosperity Fund, and some from increased revenues including taxes on the wealthy, corporations and absentee homeowners and savings, but Horgan cautioned that the numbers are based on the Liberal government’s budgeting and can’t be confirmed until the NDP digs into it after assuming office.
He said an NDP government would end a tax cut for the top two per cent of earners, increase taxes on corporate profits and “clean up B.C. Liberal waste.”
Horgan said housing is a major issue, and said an NDP government would build 114,000 homes.
“For too long, people have been struggling,” Horgan said. “Affordability and high costs are making British Columbia an undesirable place for people to come and a hard place for British Columbians to live in. We’re going to change that.”
Here are some highlights of the NDP plan:
• Eliminate medical-services plan fees by half on Jan. 1, 2018, and entirely during the first term.
• Build 114,000 rental, social, co-op and owner-purchased homes over the next 10 years.
• Roll back ferry fares by 15 per cent on smaller routes and freeze them on makor routes starting in 2018.
• No longer charge interest on B.C. student loans. Make students on assistance programs eligible for a $1,0000 completion grant toward their student debt.
• Put a freeze on an ICBC rate increase while a review is done.
• Use the Liberals’ LNG Prosperity Fund to pay for removing tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.
• Give renters a $400 annual grant.
• Freeze Hydro rates while a review is done.
• Phase in a $10-a-day child are program over the next 10 years, at a cost $855 million over three years.
• Raise minimum wage to $15 by 2021 and tie further increases to inflation.
• Make reconciliation with B.C.’s First Nations a priority.
• Ban corporate and union donations from politics.
• Move towards a proportional voting system.
• Ban partisan advertising by government.
For more on the platform, go to bcndp.ca.
The Liberals reacted by calling the NDP platform “a five-alarm warning to British Columbia families and a “multi-billion crater for B.C. economy.”
“The consequences of this NDP billion-dollar crater are an automatic credit downgrade, higher debt, guaranteed deficits, and massive tax hikes on BC’s middle class,” said Liberal De Jong. “Very simply, this B.C. NDP plan is not costed, not believable, and not balanced for B.C. families.”