THE B.C. Liberals on Monday said that while inflation and housing prices continue to skyrocket, the figures from the Second Quarterly Report (Q2) show that the NDP’s deficit numbers were wildly inaccurate, missing their deficit forecast by $8 billion year-to-date, largely due to increased tax revenue from British Columbians.
“Today’s Q2 report shows the NDP is simply relying on increased tax revenue being paid by for everyday British Columbians who are already stretched to the limit,” said Mike Bernier, BC Liberal Critic for Finance. “Most concerningly, the NDP has already made more than a billion dollars from the Property Transfer Tax this year while B.C. is in the midst of a housing crisis. This means the NDP government is actually making money from housing being unaffordable — and are patting themselves on the back for it. Additionally, many business supports still haven’t been paid out, despite there being no shortage of businesses in need. In fact, government is forecast to spend only $4 million of the $190 million set aside for the Increased Employment Incentive. With businesses facing increased costs and difficulty attracting labour, and northern B.C. still being under circuit breaker measures, it is inexcusable that government would let a fund like this flop.”
Affordability has worsened by nearly every measure this year, as B.C. has seen rising prices for shelter, transportation, and food. This is reflected by multiple straight months with inflation in excess of 3.0 per cent — and recently 3.8 per cent in October, as lack of government action has begun to have an impact.
“For a government that came to power on the promises of affordability, it has somehow managed to fail at each and every turn,” said Bernier. “Now, as a result of the devastating floods from this past week, we enter a phase of some of the most expensive and difficult recovery in our province’s history with a government that has no idea how to invest in the economy or make good on its promises. It is time for government to act quickly to deliver relief and repair the highways and agricultural centres that are so critical to B.C’s economy and the lives of so many British Columbians.”