Follow the money. And you will be able to clearly see exactly WHO the Liberals are targeting as the key to retaining power in the May 9 provincial election.
The new Budget unveiled Tuesday pretty didn’t do very much for the poor and those on social assistance … because the government KNOWS those people will largely vote NDP.
Maybe that’s why those on social assistance will AGAIN get NO increase … for the TENTH year now …no doubt seen a lost cause POLITICALLY for the Liberals.
Seem heartless? To prove that is NOT the case, the Liberals will hand those on disability another $50 a month and the government will also increase child care spaces and mental health counselling … really not much for those with the greatest needs.
However, the Finance Minister also handed out few personal goodies directly to those earning above $120,000 a year … I’d bet because the Liberals figure those voters are already a safe bet.
BUT to soothe many of them, the government promised to phase out the 7% provincial sales tax on electricity paid by businesses and trim the small business tax rate to 2 % from 2.5%.
And then there’s the REAL target of the Liberal Budget: the BIG block of middle income earners … about two million voters who are working, who support themselves and their families, who pay high rents or hold mortgages … and who the Liberals are gambling will show their appreciation for TAX relief.
So out came the bucks, aimed primarily at buying middle class voters … with their own money.
NOT in the form of reduced Income Taxes … but in Medical Services Plan premiums: cutting the health tax paid by middle income British Columbians by 50 per cent …after raising them almost the same amount over the past few years.
Never mind that the “reductions” won’t start until 2018; forget the fact that BC will remain the ONLY province in Canada to tax health coverage this way; ignore the truth that the entire collection model is still extremely unfair … huge differences between groups instead of a common sliding scale of ”premium” rates; and, set aside the tiny fact that the government says it will finally join other provinces and get rid of the premium system only at some time “in the future”.
Try taking all that to the bank and apply for a loan and see how far you get!
But the Liberals believe those who will be happy to get some of their own money back … or at least not as much collected … will take their votes to the polls and literally BUY IN.
After all, a single taxpayer’s MSP tax would drop $450 and family’s MSP tax could drop as much as $900.
The Liberals are hoping MOST won’t turn that down? And WILL vote for them to get it.
Even if they realize no other Canadians pay for health care this way or how much the Liberals have raised the tax in recent years … way, way beyond inflation or health care spending …. before promising now to lower it again, literally trying to buy people’s votes with their own money.
Unfortunately, history has shown vote buying by handing out goodies after years of squeezing the voters DOES work.
Even when voters know that what government gives with one hand before an election will be taken back in one form or another … plus even more … not long after the government is sworn in.