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NEWS RELEASE · 20th February 2013
BC Conservative Party
BC Liberals to face voters with business 'un-friendly' budget

Private sector hit with a half-billion dollar tax increase over next two years

A desperate, last-gasp, election-year budget from the BC Liberals today hit British Columbians with a trifecta of bad news - tax increases, service cuts and asset sales.

Hardest hit of all was the province's business community.

"It defies logic that the government would raise taxes on British Columbia's job-creators - at a time when jobs are supposed to be everyone's number-one priority," John Cummins, leader of the BC Conservatives, said in response to today's 2013/14 budget and fiscal plan.

"Yet this budget slams the private sector with a corporate-income tax hike that will take a half-billion dollars away from B.C. businesses in just a two-year period. It simply is not helpful for job creation."

The budget revealed that B.C.'s business sector will face a hike - to 11 per cent - in the corporate income tax rate, while light commercial industry will lose a valuable school-property tax credit.

Combined, the two measures are expected to cost B.C.'s private sector $237 million in the up-coming fiscal year, and then another $252 million in 2014/15 - for a two-year total of $489 million.

Cummins also criticized the BC Liberals' refusal to address legitimate business concerns about the unfair carbon tax, saying that grain-growers, ranchers and the cement industry got absolutely nothing in the way of financial relief.

"The government promised to provide farmers with a carbon tax exemption on coloured fuels, but legislation to enact that change won't be introduced until the fall - long after the current government has been defeated by provincial voters," observed Cummins.

Moreover, other than a passing reference to the struggling cement industry, the budget failed to address local producers' concerns over soaring cement imports from the United States and China.

"The BC Liberals today admitted that British Columbia's carbon tax is the only one of its kind in North America," said Cummins. "And it also disclosed it was unlikely that any kind of 'broad-based carbon pricing strategy' would appear in the near future in other jurisdictions.

"It's an admission that B.C. is out-of-step with our competitors - and yet this budget failed to provide any kind of relief to an industry that provides hundreds of British Columbians with high-wage jobs."

Cummins concluded by observing that British Columbia's total provincial debt had nearly doubled since 2001, when the BC Liberals won election to government with a promise to 'outlaw' deficits.

" B.C.'s total debt in 2001 stood at $33.8 billion," Cummins observed. "Today's budget shows that our debt by the end of the fiscal year will hit $62.7 billion.

"Even worse, our total provincial debt as a proportion of GDP has increased from 25.7 per cent a decade ago, to 26.9 per cent in the next fiscal period. If nothing else, it's an abject admission that BC Liberal fiscal policies over the last decade have been a total failure."

Check this one out.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 20th February 2013
Here is a video definitely worth watching. It may be on the USA political scene but it applies here as well.
Hooray for the free market
Comment by david dickinson on 20th February 2013
" B.C.'s total debt in 2001 stood at $33.8 billion," Cummins observed. "Today's budget shows that our debt by the end of the fiscal year will hit $62.7 billion."

These free market types promise a rose garden if we caters to big business, but all we ever get is a bed of thorns. "Free market" theory and practice just don't line up. Look what happened in the U.S. due to the LACK of regulation in the banking sector. A strong, robust economy or total melt-down?

Yet, the BC Liberals are saturating the T.V. advertising market with ads that state "big govt" and "too much regulation" is what brought down the U.S. economy, when, in fact, it's the exact opposite. We in Canada were insulated from the banking crisis because of REGULATION, not the other way around!

Good thing Cummins wasn't Prime Minister of Canada during this period, cause we Canadians would have then suffered the same fate as the U.S.! Total economic meltdown!

We might as well as had a socialist govt in BC these last 10 years. At least the taxpayer-sponsored benefits would have gone to those on the bottom of the social scale rather than those on top. Instead, we're stuck with a $62.7 billion deficit that has only benefited the wealthiest people in BC on the backs of hard-working, ordinary British Columbians. This is how the working poor support the fabulously wealthy.