NDP: Wilkinson promises tax break for wealthy seniors, doesn’t defend record


THE NDP on Sunday said that B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson held a press conference on a tax credit that will mostly benefit higher-income seniors. Only seniors that have an extra $20,000 to spend can receive the full amount:

  • * The median individual income for seniors is just $32,600.
  • * Nearly a quarter of households with one or more seniors have a total annual household income of less than $30,000.

Wilkinson didn’t get any questions from the media and the NDP noted that given the BC Liberals’ record of privatization, cuts and understaffing, he must have been relieved.

According to the NDP, here are just a few of the things that Wilkinson didn’t answer for:

  • * Understaffing: 9 in 10 care homes not meeting minimum government standards
  • * Contracting out: Bills 29 and 94 allowing widespread contracting out and contract-flipping
    • Forced care aides to work at multiple facilities – leaving care homes vulnerable to COVID-19
    • The largest mass firing of women workers in Canadian history (8,000 workers)
  • * Increased privatization: the number of privately operated beds soared 42% from 2001 to 2016, while public and non-profit beds dropped 11%.
  • * Less care, more profits: For-profit care homes failed to deliver 207,000 care hours they were funded to provide in 2016/17 and 2017/18, helping them generate 12 times more profit than non-profit facilities. 
  • * Enabling foreign takeovers: Dismissed families’ concerns around Retirement Concepts sale as “fearmongering” and rubber-stamped new licenses in just one week. Four facilities later had to be put under public administration. 
  • * Less public home support: access to public home support fell 30% from 2001 to 2016.