THE B.C. Liberals said on Tuesday that the NDP budget update confirmed British Columbia is now facing the biggest economic collapse in decades, while Premier John Horgan still has no economic recovery plan.
“COVID-19 has severely impacted people and our provincial economy. A deficit is not at all surprising, but what is surprising is the fact that John Horgan and the NDP still have no economic recovery plan and insist that there will be no change in the government spending priorities they laid out before the pandemic. This is simply unsustainable,” said BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson. “We’re hearing from people all across the province about growing desperation with federal benefits about to run out and temporary layoffs becoming permanent. People in every corner of B.C. have had to adjust to a new normal and adapt their household budgets, so why is this government pretending it’s business as usual?”
The B.C. Liberals noted that the budget update unveiled the largest deficit in British Columbia’s modern history, at $12.5 billion for 2020, of which 50 per cent is from declining tax revenue due to economic impacts. This year’s deficit has increased by 27.6 per cent, or $2,643 for every British Columbian, while household incomes are estimated to fall by approximately 3.9 per cent in 2020.
“Today we heard the finance minister admit that the NDP don’t have a plan to address the worst economic downturn in recent history, providing absolutely no details or any semblance of an economic recovery plan,” said MLA Shirley Bond, BC Liberal Finance Co-Critic. “B.C. has seen a dramatic loss of revenue and jobs and the NDP still has no plan for restarting our economy or generating employment. John Horgan needs to take the bold action that British Columbians need and deserve during this economic crisis.”
The B.C. Liberals pointed out that at over 13 per cent unemployment, British Columbia now has the fourth-highest joblessness rate in the country and asked: “B.C. has done better than most jurisdictions in Canada with combatting the virus, so how can B.C. be doing worse than most provinces when it comes to economic recovery?”
“British Columbians assumed that for the past four months the NDP was working on an economic recovery plan, but so far all they’ve seen is a public opinion survey while the situation gets worse for people every day. People need help now,” said MLA Stephanie Cadieux, BC Liberal Finance Co-Critic. “It’s incredibly misleading for the NDP to insist this will have no impact on people. Hundreds of thousands of people are out of work, CERB is ending soon, and there’s still no plan for school days in the fall. British Columbians will be bracing for a dark Christmas this year with no economic recovery plan from John Horgan.”