FORSETH – B.C. budget takes a surplus and does a financial slight of hand
I DON’T KNOW what ANYONE could possibly see as a benefit in the latest B.C. Budget, except perhaps those who will be on the receiving end of the NDP gravy train.
In fact, all this NDP government of Premier David Eby has done is pretty much a slight of hand with the financial resources of hard working British Columbians, and businesses, who have been MASSIVELY OVER-TAXED for the past year.
On Nov. 25 of last year, then-Finance Minister Selina Robinson announced that the provincial government was running a five point seven BILLION dollar surplus. She then went on to proudly announce that the government had doled out:
– $395 million for ICBC rebates in summer 2022
– $64 million for the School Affordability Fund in fall 2022
– $1 billion for Climate Action Tax Credit and B.C. Affordability Credit increases in October 2022 and January 2023
– $320 million for a one-time BC Hydro bill credit for BC Hydro customers this winter … and …
– $100 million for enhanced BC Family Benefit payments from January to March 2023
Punched in on my calculator, that works out to $1.879 billion dollars.
In addition to that, Eby’s government re-announced that there was to be up to $550 per month in childcare costs beginning last December (2022).
Now with today’s latest NDP government Budget current Finance Minister Katrine Conroy is continuing to shovel even more money off the back of the truck with the following:
– an average of $2.13 billion / year for healthcare (including an average of $333 million a year for mental health and addictions services
– an average of $1.4 billion / year in operating and capital funding over three years – for more homes for people who rent, Indigenous people and middle-income families, along with new actions to tackle homelessness
– an average $154 million / year in additional funding for policing, enforcement, intervention services and access to justice throughout the province
– along with an average of $1.5 billion per year in new spending measures and tax credits to help people with the effects of rising costs and establish stable, sustainable support
My calculator churned those numbers around, coming up with an astounding $5.184 BILLION in additional spending … but that’s just for this year alone; the above noted spending is over the three-year fiscal plan so triple that amount!!
So, we have the initial $1.879 billion announced last December … plus what appears to be an additional $5.184 billion just for budget year 2023.
TOTAL …. SEVEN POINT ZERO THREE BILLION.
Budget 2023 takes a $5.7-billion dollar surplus just last December and sends it soaring with a dizzying $7.03 billion in new spending.
Let’s get one thing straight. Last year (Budget 2022) the government OVER taxed us by billions. Now they are going to continue OVER taxing us while going crazy on new and additional spending.
ALL THIS while British Columbians watch as the costs of groceries, housing, clothing, fuel and so much more is through the roof due to inflation.
Those on the lower end of the income scale may think of Katrine Conroy as Santa Claus, for handing out all of those fiscal goodies, but once the ever shrinking middle class will in fact be getting it in the ear as more and more is taken from them in increased taxation.
While it appears that there will be an additional $7+ billion in new spending this year, the projected deficit will be coming in at $4.2 billion. That means only one thing, one way or another, B.C. residents and businesses will be coughing up nearly $3 billion more in taxes and hidden fees.
Premier David Eby’s government claims they are, “Putting money back into people’s pockets,” and that may work out for some. In my opinion, however, it will not be true for the vast majority of B.C. residents … our wallets will simply continue getting cleaned out by governments at all levels.
Oh, and one more thing … get ready for the next increase to the Carbon Tax … it’s coming April 1.
Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident. For 40 years he has been active, in a number of capacities, in local, provincial and federal politics, including running as a candidate for the BC Reform Party in the 1996 provincial election. He recently was involved in the BC Liberal leadership campaign.
This from a bc liberal supporter
The ones getting it in the ear with all those extra taxes…which are?