B.C. government announces 2 tax credit boosts, rent increase cap for 2023

Click to play video: 'B.C. announces cost of living supports'
B.C. announces cost of living supports
WATCH: The premier announced a boost to British Columbians coping with high inflation. The Climate Action Tax payment and B.C. Family Benefit are both getting a boost. As Richard Zussman reports, there is also good news for renters. – Sep 7, 2022

The B.C. government is boosting the next Climate Action Tax Credit payment and B.C. child opportunity benefit, and capping rent increases next year in an attempt to address the soaring cost of living.

The measures announced by Premier John Horgan on Wednesday could save a family of four up to $1,500. The child opportunity benefit has also been changed to the B.C. Family Benefit.

“Everyone is feeling the squeeze of global inflation, which is driving up the cost of groceries, gas, and other goods and services,” Horgan said.

“Our next support measures will help bring down costs for renters, put money back into people’s pockets and offer families a cushion during challenging times.”

Click to play video: 'Why didn’t the B.C. government provide direct rebate cheques to help with the cost of living?'
Why didn’t the B.C. government provide direct rebate cheques to help with the cost of living?
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Both the Climate Action Tax Credit and the BC Family Benefit are means-tested.

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In October, the maximum amount for the Climate Action Tax Credit for low- and moderate-income British Columbians will be increased by up to an additional $164 per adult and $41 per child. A family with two children can receive up to an additional $410.

Eighty-five per cent of residents are expected to benefit from that increase.

“We recognize that not all programs are going to benefit everyone equally,” said Finance Minister Selina Robinson, adding that the province leveraged existing programs to target those most in need.

Click to play video: 'B.C. government announces enhanced tax measures, relief for renters'
B.C. government announces enhanced tax measures, relief for renters

The B.C. government has been promising wage supports for months, with cost of living closing in on levels not seen in more than 40 years.

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In January, February and March, the BC Family Benefit will increase by as much as $58.33 per child for each month, the province said.

Instead of allowing rent increases equivalent to inflation, B.C. is also placing a cap of two per cent on increases for 2023. For a renter paying $2,000 in rent, that could mean savings of up to $816 next year.

Horgan said he will work with B.C. landlords to come up with solutions that meet their needs, but the “crisis” experienced by renters now must be addressed.

Click to play video: 'When can British Columbians expect some relief from rising gas, food, cost of living expenses?'
When can British Columbians expect some relief from rising gas, food, cost of living expenses?

The government is also working with BC Hydro on an additional cost of living measure to help B.C. residents reduce expenses during this period of high global inflation.

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The province had been promising to deliver cost of living supports for months and was considering rebates or cheques for British Columbians.

The Bank of Canada announced another increase to interest rates on Wednesday. The rate now stands at 3.25 per cent, up from 2.5 per cent.

Horgan previously announced a $110 ICBC-rebate to address a surge in gas prices currently contributing to increases in cost of living.

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