NDP refuse to back down on tax grabs, despite province-wide harms

MLA for Chilliwack John Martin Photography by John Lehmann

VICTORIA (March 12, 2018) – It’s been nearly three weeks since the NDP unleashed a ‘dogpile’ of taxes on British Columbians, and there are no signs the government will change course on its plans.

In the short time since the budget was introduced, the BC Liberals have raised 16 examples of people who are concerned that these taxes will impact their livelihoods, a small selection of the total number that has been brought to the attention of MLAs. According to these British Columbians, new taxes like the employer health tax and the speculation tax will make life less affordable, and perhaps even cost them their homes or jobs.

“Instead of working to increase revenues and create jobs, the NDP is doing the only thing it knows how to do— raise taxes,” says Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour. “Now, people’s homes and jobs are on the line as residents and business owners try to find the cash to pay up.”

Today in Question Period, Thornthwaite told the House about a constituent who fears she will have to sell their family cottage— built by her parents in 1964 and adored by her grandchildren— because the NDP is labeling her a ‘speculator’ and taxing her unfairly.

Meanwhile, Chilliwack MLA John Martin raised the case of Westeck Windows in Chilliwack. The company may be forced to raise prices for consumers or lay off hard-working staff to cover the surprise $322,000 employer health tax bill it’s anticipating from the government.

“Our MLAs have shared stories like these day after day in the Legislature, but the NDP aren’t having any of it,” says Martin. “For a government that claims it’s listening to people, they are completely tone-deaf to the concerns raised by British Columbians about this poorly thought-out tax scheme.”

Despite the urgent nature of these concerns, the Finance Minister is telling British Columbians that she is still thinking these things over, which does nothing to address their current worries. The BC Liberal Opposition Caucus is calling on the NDP government to provide clarity for families, homeowners, and job creators as soon as possible.

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