WHILE B.C. families are paying more for everything and wages aren’t keeping up, Premier Christy Clark has chosen to give a $230 million tax break to B.C.’s top 2 percent of income earners, said New Democrat Leader John Horgan on Tuesday.
“This government is out of touch with real life for B.C. families. Today, Premier Christy Clark showed she doesn’t even know who is hurting and who needs a break. She offered no comfort for British Columbians who are struggling to get by, but she is going to cut taxes for British Columbians who make $150,000 or more,” said Horgan.
Under the B.C. Liberal government, the medical services tax has doubled, Hydro rate hikes will reach 80 percent, ferry fares and camping fees are up, while wages aren’t keeping pace.
“Families are paying more and getting less. People can’t find a family doctor, are struggling to get adequate seniors care, and the schools and hospitals they depend on are underfunded,” said Horgan.
At the same time, parents worry that young British Columbians are the first generation that will be worse off economically than their parents, added Horgan.
He said: “It’s sadly revealing that, while middle class families are facing these tremendous challenges, Premier Clark’s priority was to choose B.C.’s top 2 percent of income earners for a tax break.
“We are a province of huge potential, with hardworking people, a bounty of natural resources and a location that is strategically important in the global economy. So why are so many British Columbians living paycheque to paycheque? Because our potential is being squandered by a premier who puts her friends first.
“You just can’t take this premier at her word anymore. This speech carried on with the same empty promises about an LNG industry that she says is the ‘central preoccupation’ of her government. But so far all we’ve seen is promises of jobs for temporary foreign workers, and environmental standards that don’t cover 70 percent of emissions.”
The premier placed a risky bet on LNG at the expense of other industries like forestry and mining, said Horgan.
“We need a government whose ‘central preoccupation’ and ‘laser-like focus’ is on helping build an economy that creates good jobs for British Columbians first – high paying jobs in sustainable industries. This speech offered no prospects of good, long-term jobs, no solutions for the problems people face every day, and no security for families,” he added.