VICTORIA (September 7, 2018) – While the NDP government continues to paint a rosy picture of the state of B.C.’s finances, the BC Liberals’ Finance Co-critics see a much different situation emerging— a weakening economy, and no plan to deal with it.
“Today’s first quarter results identify some key risks, including reduced economic activity and rising interest rates,” says Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount. “We’re already seeing evidence of the impact of the NDP’s tax and spend agenda— private sector job loss, cancelled projects, and slower housing starts and sales. Sadly, there is no evidence of a jobs plan or an economic growth strategy other than relying on taxpayers to pay more.”
In particular, the report shows housing sales are down at least 15.9 per cent and housing starts have slowed and are projected to plummet almost 20 per cent in 2019. Since the NDP and Green Party formed their Confidence and Supply Agreement in June 2017, B.C. has lost more than 25,000 private sector jobs. Month over month labour force statistics released today show that they have remained flat.
“It’s easy to balance budgets if governments have no concern about increasing taxes, and it is clear this government thinks British Columbians are a piggy bank they can go to time and time again to finance massive increases in public spending,” says Tracy Redies, MLA for Surrey-White Rock. “The declines in consumer spending and the loss of private sector jobs are symptoms of the impact of rising taxation on individuals and businesses, the declining competitiveness of the province, and an increasingly poor investment climate in B.C.”
The $3 billion increase in taxation amounts to $630 for every man, woman, and child in this province, up 10 per cent since the NDP took office. For a family of four, that is an average of $2,520 in increased taxes. This contradicts the NDP’s claims about increasing affordability in this province.
Bond and Redies say the situation is particularly disappointing, given the NDP inherited a $2.7 billion surplus and the strongest economy in the country from the former BC Liberal government.