Clark promises relief is coming
Premier says budget will aid taxpayers but remains vague
The B.C. government says it is time to reap the financial rewards of sustained budget surpluses, promising taxpayers Tuesday that they can expect to see some relief in next week’s budget.
Premier Christy Clark said the budget will offer taxpayers help with the fiscal burdens they face, but she wasn’t saying much else about what’s coming, other than ruling out rebate cheques.
“I want to find ways to give back to British Columbians,” she told a news conference after the government’s throne speech was delivered by Lt.Gov. Judith Guichon on Tuesday. The budget will be the last before this spring’s provincial election. NDP Leader John Horgan saw the throne speech as a pitch for votes.
“As throne speeches go, this is one of the hollowest I’ve seen,” he said.
“It’s a good thing she didn’t say pay off because that’s what it sounds like to me.”
He said the government is planning to offer British Columbians some form of financial reward after hitting them with years of increases for hydro, auto insurance and medical services premiums. Clark’s government is expected to table its fifth consecutive balanced budget next week.
In November, the government projected a surplus of about $2.2 billion for the 2016-17 fiscal year.
Like many throne speeches, details on the government’s plans for the new legislative session were vague.
“After years of sacrifice by all of us in British Columbia through challenging times, working together with a plan, your government is now in a position to pay you back, to relieve some financial burdens and to invest in your household,” it said.
The government’s focus on balanced budgets, spending controls and debt reduction has produced growing surpluses that give the province the ability to do more for taxpayers, the speech said.
premier christy clark