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Edelman Public Affairs - BC NDP's First Budget


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Earlier this week, the BC NDP tabled its first full budget. How do the new government’s budgetary commitments compare to its campaign trail promises? Edelman Vancouver’s Public Affairs team weighs in. To learn more about Edelman, please visit

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Edelman Public Affairs - BC NDP's First Budget

  1. 1. BC NDP’S FIRST BUDGET OVERVIEW Expectations were high for the NDP’s first full budget, in which the government promised to make “historic” investments in both housing and child care during its recent Speech from the Throne. Below is a breakdown of these budget commitments and an overview of how the government’s budget stacks up to its promises. To recap: last September, the NDP’s budget update announced spending of nearly $2 billion towards welfare and disability rate increases, including a 50% cut to MSPs, K-12 education improvements, and resources towards tackling the fentanyl overdose crisis. To cover the cost of these initiatives, the NDP implemented two major tax increases: a 1% hike to the corporate income tax rate and an income tax increase for those earning over $150,000. Edelman Vancouver | February 2018 | 1400—1500 West Georgia St | Vancouver, BC V6G 2Z6 | 604 623 3007 Hon. James Moore Special Advisor, Public Affairs, Edelman Canada 604.648.3401 | Bridgitte Anderson General Manager, Edelman Vancouver 604.648.3403 | “It’s clearly a budget that’s meant to put people first and correct some of the perceived wrongs that have happened over the last number of years.” Andrew Weaver, MLA and BC Green Party Leader REACTIONS • $6 billion over the next 10 years to create 114,000 housing units for families, seniors, students, and women and children fleeing domestic violence • A 2% increase in the property transfer tax, up to 5% on homes with a fair market value of more than $3 million • An immediate increase to the foreign buyer tax from 15% to 20%, and an expansion to Kamloops, Kelowna, Greater Victoria and the Fraser Valley • A new speculation tax, to be introduced next fall, aimed at foreign and domestic homeowners, starting at 0.5% and rising to 2% by 2019 HOUSING CHILD CARE • $1 billion over the next three years to expand access to licensed child care – part of the NDP’s larger plan to create more than 22,000 new spaces • A $350 subsidy to be provided to licensed care providers towards the cost of child care space • An affordable child care benefit, to commence in September 2018, providing up to $1,250 a month per child DELIVERING ON PROMISES? ACTUALPROMISED “We were optimistic but cautious about whether or not they’d deliver on all the aspects. They have.” Sharon Gregson, Spokesperson, Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. “We see a budget [and] promises being funded on the backs of job creators in the province.” Shirley Bond, Finance Critic, Liberal Party of British Columbia “We certainly applaud government’s efforts on easing the burden of high housing costs and increasing access to child care, but in introducing a payroll tax to offset lost MSP premium revenues this Budget delivers another meaningful blow to small to medium employers, especially in the service and technology sectors.” Ian Black, President and CEO, Vancouver Board of Trade 2% TAX ON SPECULATIVE REAL ESTATE The government announced an annual speculation tax on the assessed value of homes in urban areas, launching this year at 0.5% and rising to 2% by 2019. $10-A-DAY DAYCARE One of the NDP’s signature campaign promises, $10-a-day daycare, was missing from the budget. Finance Minister Carole James said that the government is still pursuing the plan, and that the $1-billion allocated to child care would assist families in the meantime. 114,000 AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS $6 billion has been allocated over the next 10 years to create 114,000 housing units for families, seniors, students, and women and children fleeing domestic violence. $400 RENTER’S REBATE The renter’s rebate, another signature NDP campaign promise, was missing from the budget. Finance Minister Carole James said that while the government would continue to explore the idea, “We’re not going to do everything overnight.” ELIMINATION OF MSP PREMIUMS Medical Service Plan premiums are slated to be eliminated by 2020. To compensate for budget losses, the province will put in place a new payroll tax for employers starting on January 1, 2019. CCCABC