THE NDP said on Wednesday that in his response to the budget, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson falsely claims that “BC families will be paying an extra $2,362 in NDP taxes by 2022.”
Wilkinson is claiming that most people are paying more, but the opposite is true: low and middle income families are paying less on average than they were under the BC Liberals. It’s the richest British Columbians and profitable corporations that are paying a little more, the NDP said.
Wilkinson’s false claim is based on increases to total tax revenue per capita over a period of seven years (Fiscal 2016/17 to 2022/23), multiplied by two (to account for a household). This measure is fundamentally misleading in two ways:
- It factors in billions in taxes that low and middle income people don’t pay, including corporate income tax, Employers Health Tax, luxury homes tax, speculation tax, and the new personal income tax bracket on the top 1%;
- It ignores economic growth and inflation (which accounts for most of the increase).
Table A4.1 of the budget breaks down the net taxes paid by typical families of different income brackets. It shows that affordability measures like MSP elimination and the Child Opportunity Benefit have significantly reduced the tax burden for families making under $100,000. For example, a family making $80,000 is paying $2,350 less than they were in 2016/17. This doesn’t factor in savings from non-tax measures, including bridge toll elimination and childcare fee reductions.
As the Globe and Mail recently noted, “The NDP brought in small tax increases for high-income earners and corporations but most people are paying less.”
The NDP said that it’s clear the stat being used by Wilkinson is a bad measure of the taxes paid by most people. But if Wilkinson were to apply his own stat to the BC Liberal period between 2010/11 and 2016/17, he’d find per capita taxes for each household increased by $2,802 – more than he’s now accusing the NDP of doing.
NDP MLA Ravi Kahlon said: “Andrew Wilkinson knows that people won’t support his plan to give tax breaks to the top 1% because it would mean service cuts and higher taxes for everyone else. With [Premier] John Horgan, we’re making different choices. We’re helping families cut costs, improving services, and creating good jobs and opportunities all across BC. We’re on the right track, but there’s more work to do. Let’s keep moving forward.”