News

Polak says budget is well-balanced

Transportation Minister and Langley MLA Mary Polak - Contributed photo
Transportation Minister and Langley MLA Mary Polak
— image credit: Contributed photo

When questioned about the BC Liberal government's budget being more like an NDP budget, Langley MLA and Transportation Minister Mary Polak says "it's partly true."

The budget came down Tuesday as part of a short legislative session — the last one before the provincial election on May 14. While governments often sprinkle goodies in their pre-election budgets, this one focused mainly on tax increases and other revenue generating streams.

The NDP had already called for a boost in the corporate tax rate and higher income taxes on people with high incomes.

The Liberal budget echoes that, calling for an increase in corporate tax rates, from 10 per cent to 11 per cent on April 1, as well as a temporary two-year boost in the tax rate paid by people making $150,000 or more. Cigarette taxes will also go up, as of Oct. 1.

Medical Service Plan premiums will also rise another four per cent on Jan. 1, 2014, marking the fifth straight year of premium increases. They have risen by 28 per cent in that time.

Polak defends the tax and fee increases, saying the government took a balanced approach to try and get money from many sources. The budget calls for a small surplus at the end of the fiscal year, but that is predicated on sales of government-owned land adding up to $625 million over the next two years.

Polak said the MSP increases amount to about $5 per month for a family of four. She added that families are still better off than they were in 2001, when the Liberals were first elected, as income tax rates have dropped dramatically since that time.

She said there are lots of benefits from families in the budget, including a $1,200 RESP contribution when children turn six, a tax credit for families with children that begins in 2015 and tax credits for kids' arts and sports programs.

"The budget reflects that we are trying to help the middle class," she said.

"I think 'balanced' reflects what we are doing, as the minister of finance has done a ton of work to control spending."

She said B.C.'s triple-A credit rating depends on whether the government makes its targets, not whether or not it runs a surplus, and on that front her government is doing well.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Spartans dominate
 
Lakers all that stand in the way of Langley United
 
Dynamo draws with Westcoast FC
Saturday marks one year since Jose Figueora took sanctuary in Walnut Grove church
 
UPDATE: Police swarm Willoughby townhouse complex
 
KPU Eagles pick up points from home games in Newton
Raptors hope to pick up where they left off
 
Lions blank Coastal FC
 
Perfect Pegasus in first

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.