BC Liberals: Economic update shows long road to recovery with no plan in sight

THE BC Liberals on Thursday raised serious concerns about the NDP’s plan to delay the next budget, after Thursday’s economic update from the Finance Minister “demonstrated the need for more transparency and more support for British Columbians.”

“What today’s fiscal update has made clear is that the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be with us for a long time. B.C.’s economic recovery has slowed in recent months, emphasizing the need for greater supports for businesses and families,” said BC Liberal Finance Critic Mike Bernier. “We have still not returned to pre-pandemic employment levels, our business owners need relief, and British Columbians need to know this government has a plan for real recovery. Today’s numbers demonstrate the need for swift government action, but all we have seen from the NDP are delays, poorly designed benefits, and clawbacks from seniors and people living with disabilities.”

The fiscal update revealed that full economic recovery could be delayed until early 2023, and the tourism, retail, hospitality sectors are expected to suffer until that time. Meanwhile, the NDP recalled the Legislature this month to pass a single bill that delays the introduction of the 2021 budget by an extra month, instead of introducing new supports for businesses impacted by the pandemic, said the BC Liberals.

“The fiscal update has shown that in the coming months we need more accountability from government, not less,” said Bernier. “The Minister said numerous times that there is still a great deal of uncertainty around the province’s economic situation, and yet is content to make people and businesses wait until the end of April for further supports. This update underlines exactly why the next budget should not be delayed by nearly two months — people and businesses need help, and they need it as soon as possible.”