The BC NDP’s first full budget tackles housing, childcare, and MSP premiums.
The fiscal blueprint contains a new tax on property speculators, higher taxes on foreign homebuyers and a fiscal plan that aims to create 114,000 affordable housing units over the next decade.
The government will add another billion dollars on child care over the next three years to lower costs, increase the number of spaces available and improve the quality of care.
MSP premiums will be phased out by January, 2020, but a new payroll tax will be introduced to pick up the slack in revenue.
Stikine NDP MLA Doug Donaldson says the Northwest will benefit from the first full NDP budget.
Donaldson says he’s proud of educational commitments to youth aging out of foster care and people justice system.
The BC Liberals are less than impressed with the budget.
BC Liberal finance co-critic Shirley Bond says the government’s $5.5 billion in tax hikes will hurt job creators in the province and that the new payroll tax will knee-cap small businesses.
The BC Chamber of Commerce is also concerned about the impact of the payroll tax. President and CEO Val Litwin says businesses will have to pick up the nearly $2 billion tab by 2020-21 to cover the full phase-out of MSP premiums.
Combined with the loss of revenue neutrality and increase of the Carbon Tax, and increases to minimum wage and the corporate tax rate, Litwin says businesses of all types will find it challenging to invest and grow.