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NEWS RELEASE · 22nd February 2012
Offers nothing for families and the middle class struggling in tough times

Premier Christy Clark claims to represent change but her first budget shows almost no difference from previous Liberal budgets and continues to hurt working families and a middle class, said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston.

“After a decade of deceit and mismanagement, there is nothing here for families and the middle class looking for relief in tough times and hope for a better future,” said Ralston. “Education and skills training offers a huge opportunity to invest in our young people to meet the looming skills shortage and prepare for the jobs of the future.

“That’s why New Democrats have proposed investing in a student grants program to reduce barriers to post-secondary education. Yet the Liberals are offering nothing substantive here for education and skills training, at a time when a looming skills shortage has been clearly identified as a priority for British Columbia’s economy and jobs.

“The Liberal claim that they will deliver a balanced budget just in time for the election simply has no credibility. They have resorted to an asset fire sale to generate a tiny projected surplus in 2013, which offers no comfort the surplus is real or sustainable. The Liberals have sold out our future for the sake of their present political needs,” Ralston said.

“After the HST lie and the claim of a $495 million deficit going into the last election, how are we expected to believe a word this government has to say about its fiscal future?

“Today’s budget confirms that this is a government that is out of touch with the struggles of working families and the middle class and completely out of ideas for how to make their lives better. Clearly, families were not first in this government's thoughts as this budget was put together.”

This budget offers a tax cut for major airlines, but is sticking BC families with yet another increase in MSP premiums, the fifth increase from this government totaling over 85 per cent or $732 per year for families with children.

Spending for the premier's office is untouched, while universities and colleges are expected to make cuts and there is not a dime more to be found for student aid.

The budget also cuts funding for forest health by $20 million at a time when there is universal agreement our forests are in crisis. In addition, this budget completely ignores the financial impact associated with downloaded costs from the federal crime bill.

"Premier Clark had a chance to show that, after months of postponing tough decisions, she was ready to begin governing, but this budget shows no signs she has any vision or agenda beyond clinging to power,” said Ralston. “After a decade of deceit and mismanagement, it seems British Columbians are expected to endure more of the same.

"This was supposed to be a defining moment for Premier Clark and her government, but instead we are seeing a continuation of the Liberals’ failed legacy."
At "Balthazar"
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 24th February 2012
Now if you had made that first comment and made any reference at all to ALL Parties, I might have let it pass. You didn't do that so the comment was fair. As to your first name and why it was not used by me it is obvious. Your first name is not in your email address and how am I suppose to know what it is if you call yourself "Balthazar". Aside from that, what was respectful about your "bla bla bla..." if you were trying to point out the short comings of the British Parliamentary System or the use of partisan Press Releases?

As for being a former whatever. I am now know what that means?
at mr. giesbrecht
Comment by balthazar on 23rd February 2012
I think the average person is smart enough to understand the functions of Press Releases from either side. Don't you think pietralla -
A little more respect and class would have been expected from a former MLA and mayor in terms of addressing a person, either Alex or Mr. Pietralla is fine, if you have to go as far as calling it out anyways - why ?
Anyhow, the average person is not my point - my point is that nothing gets done or gets better in this type of electoral system and political environment. Coalition or the behaviour as such seems to be the devil in disguise, when in most democratic countries it is the norm to form a coalition government.This old school British us and them , so nicely designed in the opposing benches in the house, is counter-productive and not helping to drive a common, balanced agenda. Honestly, I do not give a rats furry ass who is in government, as long as the agenda makes sense and is recognizing that one needs a healthy economy to pay the social bills. Both sides always have something good to add - but this culture of us and them is so tiring and nonsense.
so are liberal comments...
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 23rd February 2012
Do u actually buy their crap?
BC Liberal tactics are so predictable!
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 23rd February 2012
"bla bla bla bla bla", if the liberals increased income taxes by 5% , they would be claiming how they single-handedly wrestled the deficit to the ground - "all this partisan bile spitting" at the NDP, only doing its job, is only helping the BC Liberals and puts them lower in the polls. I think the average person is smart enough to understand the functions of Press Releases from either side. Don't you think pietralla
ndp comments are so predictable...
Comment by balthazar on 23rd February 2012
bla bla bla bla bla , if the liberals reduced income taxes by 5% , the dix'ons would scream hell or high water about the deficit - all this partisan bile spitting is only helping the media fill their paper and achieves nothing - so sick of it....