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The Provincial Budget: What does it mean for you and your family? Victoria, BC March 3, 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "The Provincial Budget: What does it mean for you and your family? Victoria, BC March 3, 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Provincial Budget: What does it mean for you and your family? Victoria, BC March 3, 2015

2 Overview Welcome! Panelists Iglika Ivanova Senior Economist and Public Interest Researcher Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Lisa Matthaus Provincial Lead, Organizing for Change Priorities for Environmental Leadership Dr. Michael J. Prince Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy University of Victoria Discussion and Questions

3 BC Budget Reality Check: Fiscal Surplus, Social and Environmental Deficits Iglika Ivanova Senior Economist Public Interest Researcher March 3, 2015

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5 Budget 2015 shows BC has considerable resources Budget surplus for last fiscal year close to $1 billion ($879 million) Budget surpluses projected for the next three years (plus fiscal cushion of $600 - $750 million per year in contingency and forecast allowance) Economic growth forecasts put us in a good position Our credit rating is excellent, our debt levels are manageable and interest rates are record low

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7 BC Budget 2015 ignored: 37. Introduce a comprehensive poverty reduction plan, & review income assistance rates, the minimum wage, & clawback of child support payments. 38. Examine the persons with disability (PWD) rate & consider increases to reflect the higher cost of living. 40. Provide funding & support for the development & implementation of a child care plan. 42. Incrementally increase legal aid funding.

8 Source: Author’s calculations based on BC Budget 2015.

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11 The cost of the carbon tax revenue “neutrality”

12 Source: BC Budget Table A9. Carbon tax not shown (introduced in July 2008). These eleven items and the carbon tax make up all BC government revenues.

13 Source: Author’s calculations based on BC Budget 2015 (Table A9) and BC Financial and Economic Review 2012 and 2014 (Tables A2.4, A2.5 and 2.7); Carbon tax not shown.

14 Fundamental shifts in BC’s revenues

15 Budgets are about priorities Underfunding public services and programs hurts the most vulnerable British Columbians Turning a blind eye to our social and environmental problems today only makes it more difficult and costly to deal with them in the future BC’s tale of great disparity shows that the market has failed to provide for many – we need a more inclusive economy Are your priorities reflected in this provincial budget?

16 To learn more

17 Budget 2015: Environmental Highlights Lisa Matthaus Provincial Lead

18 Throne Speech 2015

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21 Water Sustainability Act Implementation $25 million over 3 years Paid for by recent price increases Still lowest water rates in Canada $ $2.25 per 1000m 3

22 Climate-related Cement industry incentives $9 million in 2015/16, $27 million over 5 years maintains GHG reduction incentive! Low-emission vehicle incentives $7.5 million for vehicles $2.5 million for chargers, research, etc.

23 Source: Provincial Economic Multipliers (BC Stats, 2008) and Lee and Carlaw, (CCPA, 2010)

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25 Budget 2015: Social Policy Highlights Dr. Michael J. Prince Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy University of Victoria

26 Social Policy in BC Budget 2015 Health Care Increasing funding to accommodate growing needs K to 12 Education Additional funding and labour stability Post-secondary Education Continuing efforts to find efficiencies Families and Individuals “Making life a little easier for those in need”

27 Health Care Budget measuresAdditional spending over next 3 years Ministry of Health: program expenditures (hospice, and palliative and end-of-life care services noted) $2.9 billion Hospital and other health care infrastructure: capital spending $2.7 billion Canadian Cancer Society$12.5 million New children’s fitness equipment tax credit (a benefit of up to $12.65 per child a year) $9 million Medical Services Plan premium increase (a tax increase) effective Januray 1, 2016 $210 million (an increased cost of $36.00 to $72.00 a year for those affected); an overall increase in MSP revenues of $389 million in next three budget years

28 Education Budget measuresAdditional spending over next 3 years K to 12 Education$564 million ( includes a $73 million increase to Learning Improvement Fund) Advanced Education$41 million Capital spending on schools$1.6 billion Capital spending on post-secondary$2.1 billion Education coaching tax credit for teachers and teaching assistants (to be reviewed after 3 years) No material impact on budget (a tax benefit of up to $25.30 per eligible teacher or teaching assistant) BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Program $1 million Training and Education Savings Grant for children turning age six Parents/guardians must establish a RESP for the one-time payment of $1,200 per eligible child (for as many as 40,000 children every year)

29 Financial Support Budget measureAdditional spending over next 3 years Target population Early Childhood Tax Benefit (up to $660 a year for each child) $438 millionAbout 180,000 families with children under age six Child support payment exemption from income assistance calculations $24 millionAbout 3,200 single parent families on income or disability assistance Income assistance: net caseload growth and program delivery costs $20 millionAbout 4,100 clients of Disability Assistance BC tax reduction credit$15 million (foregone revenue) Roughly 500,000 individual taxpayers earning between $18,327 to $19,000 a year

30 Children and Family Services Budget measureAdditional spending over next 3 years Comments Community Living BC$106 million$69 m to maintain existing services and increases in caseloads of adults with developmental disabilities; $37 m for wage increases for staff Ministry of Children and Family Development $57 millionMost new money goes for child care subsidies program; other areas, such as children and youth with special needs, are flat-lined (that is, shrinking) budgets

31 Discussion & Questions Please Give Us Your Input on the Future of Our Province

32 Thank You! Carole James, MLA Victoria-Beacon Hill 1084 Fort Street Rob Fleming, MLA Victoria-Swan Lake 1020 Hillside Ave


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