MORE money is back in the pockets of British Columbians in 2019, says the government, because of its initiatives to make life more affordable for people.
Tens of thousands of families were helped with lower child care costs, while Medical Service Plan (MSP) fees were lowered by 50% and will be eliminated beginning in the new year. People also continued to save money on lower-cost ferry trips and eliminated bridge tolls.
“For too long, people saw their bills going up and they found it harder to make ends meet. We’re proud of the different choices we’ve made to lower costs for working families and help everyone in B.C. get ahead, not just the few at the very top,” said Premier John Horgan on Friday. “But this is only the beginning. British Columbians have seen us roll up our sleeves to clean up messes left behind by the previous government, and we’re going to keep building a better future, together.”
The government saved families money in 2019 by:
- making child care more affordable for more families with initiatives that are putting up to $1,600 back into the pockets of families each month;
- eliminating unfair MSP premiums, saving families up to $900 in 2019 and $1,800 in 2020 – the biggest middle-class tax cut in B.C.’s history;
- reducing the maximum rent increase by 2% and closing loopholes to protect renters; and
- reducing or eliminating Fair Pharmacare deductibles for 240,000 families in 2019, so more people can access the medications they need.
British Columbians also continued to benefit in 2019 through:
- elimination of tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges, saving drivers up to $1,500 per year;
- elimination of interest on student loans, saving the average student $2,300 over a 10-year repayment period; and
- strong steps to tackle the housing crisis, including 22,000 new affordable homes completed or underway and taking on speculators who have driven up B.C. housing costs.