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B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver: renters’ rebate was a way to win votes not address affordability

B.C. NDP promises renter’s rebate
Wed, Apr 12: In the first full day of election campaigning, the B.C. NDP is making a big promise. If elected on May 9, leader John Horgan is vowing to give renters a $400 rebate. Ted Chernecki explains how the plan would be rolled out and why some critics say it will not work.

B.C.’s Green Leader Andrew Weaver wants the NDP to drop its $400 renters’ rebate grant promised during the campaign.

“We share the same values about the importance of making rent affordable, however, their means for doing it was a gimmick,” said Weaver.

READ MORE: B.C. Greens and NDP at odds over renters’ rebate and child care

He said the NDP’s plan was a way to win votes instead of creating proper policies to address affordability.

“It is not fiscally prudent, all it does is cause rents to go up by $400 a year.”

The renters’ rebate is estimated to cost the province around $250 million a year, which, Weaver says, would be better spent on existing programs.

WATCH: Rental housing crunch in Vancouver

Rental housing crunch
Rental housing crunch

“There’s a safe program which assists seniors who spend more than 30 per cent of their income on rent, as well as the overall renters’ assistance program.”

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READ MORE: B.C. NDP offers up yearly $400 renter’s rebate

The government hasn’t said when, or if, it’s going to implement the rebate but a statement from the Finance Ministry says the government is “working on a long-term, comprehensive plan to make housing more affordable for people.”

The ministry says it’s also working on closing speculation loopholes and reducing tax fraud and money laundering in B.C.