For immediate release
Feb. 17, 2015
VICTORIA B.C. – While the B.C. Green Party applauds the government for introducing a balanced budget, the party is deeply concerned that it has done so on the backs of middle and low income earners.
“A 21st century economy requires us to live within our means” says Adam Olsen, Interim-Leader of the B.C. Green Party, “But it also means that the costs are shared according to our means. In this budget the Government continues to leave too many British Columbians behind.”
The budget makes important steps to continue to address B.C.’s growing debt while making worthwhile investments into the creative economy, with tax credits for Interactive Digital Media and Digital Animation or Visual Effects.
Nevertheless, the budget continues to be balanced on the backs of those who can least afford it. For instance, despite calls to shift MSP premiums into the progressive tax system, the B.C. government has instead raised premium rates by another 4%. The rise of user fee rates that disproportionately target low- and fixed-income earners was accompanied by a tax cut for the top 2% of earners as the 16.8% personal income tax rate that was introduced in 2013 expired.
The government cites the cancellation of the single-parent clawback and the introduction of the B.C. Tax Reduction credit as examples of supporting low-income earners. While these policies represent positive changes, they do little to address the underlying problem that low income earners pay a disproportionately high amount in taxes and fees.
“The government is giving away feel-good tax credits while people struggle to put food on the table and pay their hydro bills. Instead of addressing the real structural issues that create and perpetuate inequality in our province, this government is complacent,” says Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party.
“The use of targeted tax credits comes right out of the federal Conservative playbook,” says Weaver. “It’s a policy used to garner votes and does very little to help British Columbians and to advance a 21st century vision for our province.”
– 30 –
For Adam Olsen / BC Green Party
Stefan Jonsson, Director of Communications
1.250.514.0288 | [email protected]
For Andrew Weaver, MLA
Mat Wright, Press Secretary
184.108.40.20682 | [email protected]