Tax Cuts Welcome Here
There is nothing like news of an unexpected tax cut to focus attention on a provincial budget.
Between the 10% tax cut in this budget and the 25% tax cut in 2001, most BC income earners have seen their provincial tax burden decrease between 33% and 100%, with the majority falling in the 33-34% category.
For example, a person earning about $30,000 per year used to pay $1,606 in provincial income tax prior to Gordon Campbell coming into government. Now, that same person pays $1023 per year – a reduction of 36%.
An extra $50 or so a month makes a big difference when we live in such an expensive part of the world.
And if that person also happens to be a single parent or the sole-wage earner for a family, he or she is also eligible for day-care subsidies, rental assistance support, reduced MSP premiums and other provincial programs aimed at further helping out his or her family.
It is difficult to craft a budget in a time of relative prosperity. Every advocacy group from business to health care to welfare reform believes that their cause is more deserving than that of any other for a government handout.
The news coverage this week was dominated by one group or another telling us the budget wasn’t good enough.
Let’s keep in mind what this budget provided.
The largest increase ever in welfare rates – not good enough. New funding for health care – not good enough. Additional money for shelter spaces and homeless initiatives – never good enough. .
Most advocates are doing very good work and pushing the government for money is part of that job.
It is, however, disingenuous to suggest that this budget is a disappointment to everyone because that opposite is true.
Most British Columbians get up in the morning, go to their jobs, work hard all day long, and come home to their families or their communities. Frankly these are the people this budget helps – people trying to get ahead in our province and who deserve more in their pockets at the end of the day.
The fact that the government has provided tax relief at the same time they’ve raised welfare rates, provided money for housing and increased funding to health care by 7% speaks for the good fiscal times and the prudent decisions by Carole Taylor.
Tax cuts are just not possible when times are tough – we usually get the opposite during a bad economy, which piles hurt onto hurt.
There is an old saying that a good compromise leaves everyone unhappy but I hope that most British Columbians will not buy into the special interest rhetoric and instead enjoy another unprecedented return of their hard-earned dollars.
As seen today in 24 Hours