You would think … after 50 years of watching governments of all stripes at work … I should know better.
In between elections, especially, there is little or nothing meaningful ever handed out to help middle class families (or singles) in local, provincial or federal budgets.
WE are the ones who bear an UNFAIR share the financial burden PROPORTIONATELY to pay for SPENDING programs targeted towards the poor, the rich, big and small businesses, Crown corporations, Community groups, and government agencies and workers.
WE pay …. so they don’t.
And yet … I had hopes things, under the NDP, would change
But the latest BC Budget continues the unfair tradition:
BC Hydro will enjoy a $1 Billion debt writeoff (while your rates will still INCREASE substantially) ; ICBC will also get $1 Billion debt writedown (while …you guessed it …your rates will also rise substantially; there will be $41 million more for those rich enough to buy/own homes so they can convert to cleaner energy, install improved windows and even up to a $6,000 kickback for those who can afford clean energy vehicles.
There will be loans for people facing eviction, but nothing concrete to help municipalities boost the supply of land for middle-income housing, increase density or cut red tape to bring down costs; there will be tax breaks for families with kids under 18 … but amounts are cut back after whole family’s income hits $25,000 … and eliminated completely after ENTIRE family income tops $80,000 … not that high for an ENTIRE family unit in BC, especially the Lower Mainland.
Student loans will stop accumulating interest, parents with kids who have disabilities will get increased benefits, there will be more modular housing built to assist the homeless, disability and welfare rates will go up $50 a month and First Nations will get $3 Billion from the province’s gaming revenues over the next 25 years.
BC Finance Minister Carole James said the province’s economy is the healthiest in Canada.
But once again, RENTERS will NOT GET the promised $400 annual rebate; the major child-care program will remain a theory only; and, those who pay our own MSP (BC is the ONLY province still collecting MSP as a separate tax) will keep shelling it out until next year.
Without ANYTHING in Budget 2019 to help even middle class SENIORS struggling more and more … with little or no income beyond their small pensions/dwindling savings … to keep up with all the well-above inflationary increases in Hydro, ICBC, taxes, transit, gasoline, rents, prescriptions, etc.!
James said “BC is thriving”.
Yet, certainly little or nothing to celebrate for most of us, of any age, in BC’s WORKING OR RETIRED, MIDDLE CLASS.
(Reminder: you can get First Alerts of all new postings on this BC-based blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter.)