The opposition Liberals are panning Tuesday’s provincial budget, saying it contains tax hikes.
“The BC NDP have no plan to grow the economy, no plan on how to pay for all the spending,” said BC Liberal finance co-critic Shirley Bond. “The only idea they have is hiking taxes to the tune of $5.5 billion. Since the NDP have been government they have put in place or announced $8 billion in annual taxation measures. The majority of those measures hit job creators, the very people who help grow and strengthen our economy.”
The BC NDP promised to eliminate the MSP but never spoke about replacing it with a payroll tax that, Bond says, will hammer small business. As well, the NDP have increased the carbon tax and removed the revenue neutrality which means more money coming out of the pockets of the middle class who are struggling with affordability and need it most, she added.
“The NDP have also made clear they made many false promises during the last election. Yes, there are investments in child care but the government promised $10-a-day child care. We found out today that it doesn’t exist and it looks like it never will,” added BC Liberal child care critic Laurie Throness.
“There is no relief for commuters in the Lower Mainland, except for the Pattullo Bridge which will only provide a 10 per cent capacity increase,” said BC Liberal finance co-critic Tracy Redies. “There is no widening of Highway 1, no Surrey rapid transit and the 80,000 daily commuters who use the George Massey Tunnel are now completely forgotten.”
This budget has spending growing at twice the rate of government revenue growth and the fiscal plan is wholly dependent upon a growing economy. However, this plan has no measures to grow the economy to fund the NDP’s spending spree.
“If all of this sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because we’ve heard this story before,” notes Bond. “Welcome back to the NDP of the 1990s and remember, the sequel is always worse.”