Consistent with other jurisdictions, the Second Quarterly Report confirms a fast economic recovery has led to stronger-than-expected revenues in B.C.
The province’s operating surplus is $5.7 billion, an improvement of $5 billion over the First Quarterly Report. The change was primarily driven by a significant update from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for 2021 personal and corporate income tax results.
“The Second Quarterly Report shows that we have experienced a faster economic recovery than private- or public-sector economists initially forecasted,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “The changes we’re seeing are primarily due to updated income tax revenue data from the Canada Revenue Agency here in B.C. and across the country – far beyond what was forecasted when we built our budget.”
B.C. continues to introduce new cost-of-living measures, including the new BC Affordability Credit announced by Premier David Eby last week. The total cost-of-living measures rolled out since the summer cost approximately $2 billion:
* $395 million for ICBC rebates delivered in summer 2022
* $64 million for the School Affordability Fund in fall 2022
* $1 billion for Climate Action Tax Credit and BC 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
* $100 million for enhanced BC Family Benefit payments from January to March 2023
In addition, families will begin saving up to $550 per month in child care costs starting in December 2022.
“We’re in a strong position to continue using the resources we have to deliver results on the issues that matter the most to people: housing; public safety; health care; climate change; and building a sustainable economy,” Robinson said. “No matter what is on the horizon, our government will continue to be here to support people in B.C.”
In the coming weeks, and as part of the budget process, the minister of finance will meet with members of the Economic Forecast Council and the ESG Advisory Council to discuss issues affecting the province’s economy and future forecasts. The Third Quarterly Report, including an economic forecast, will be released with Budget 2023 on Feb. 28.