B.C. budget: if you didn’t see some NDP promises, this is why they weren’t there
The budget update presented by B.C.’s NDP minority government on Monday was as notable for what wasn’t in it as for what was.
There are a few reasons for that, if you ask the governing party.
During the election, the NDP promised initiatives such as $10-per-day child care. The party also pledged $175 million for child care in its platform for this fiscal year.
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The party also promised an annual $400 renters’ rebate.
However, those pledges were nowhere to be seen on Monday.
Finance Minister Carole James attributed the missing promises to the delay in forming government after the BC Liberals won the most seats in the May election.
“No one expected we’d be doing a budget in September, we had hoped we would be doing a budget in early summer,” she said on Monday.
“The time it took to get into the legislature and to be able to have the confidence vote took longer than anyone expected because of the previous government and previous premier.”
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But the delay in unveiling the party’s promises didn’t just have to do with the B.C. Liberals.
Certain matters, such as housing and child care policy, must be discussed with the B.C. Greens under the parties’ Confidence and Supply agreement.
“We both agree on affordable, quality, accessible child care,” James said.
But that’s not the only matter the parties will discuss.
The B.C. NDP have also promised a tax on real estate speculation. The tax would be a two per cent levy on the value of homes that are owned by people who don’t otherwise pay taxes in B.C.
James said that more talks on the tax will take place with the Greens.
The minority government committed to certain actions on child care and housing in Monday’s update.
The budget update saw the B.C. NDP put forward $20 million in new child care funding so that the province can create 4,100 new daycare spaces.
As for renters, the government said it would put $7 million toward hiring 30 new full-time staffers and build a new compliance unit that would crack down on landlords who are repeat offenders, as well as tenants.
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