Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok feels B.C.’s proposed budget offers little help to the province’s residents.
In particular, Clovechok called out some new taxes proposed by the NDP.
“There’s a brand new tax on online transactions, they’re increasing taxes on used cars, and they’re increasing taxes on buying home heating systems that use fossil fuels, like natural gas furnaces,” said Clovechok. “That’s 27 new taxes since they took office. You can’t tax your way to prosperity.”
That said, the proposed budget does mention that zero-emission vehicles and heat pumps will be exempt from provincial sales tax (PST) through to 2027.
Clovechok feels the budget does not address the rising costs of living in the province.
“If you look at rent overall, it’s increased by about $2,800 per year under the NDP since 2017, especially in Vancouver,” said Clovechok. “The price of everything has gone up and yet they are the party that said they’re for affordability. It’s really unfortunate, but this budget is a sham. As Kevin Falcon, our new leader said, if someone were to bring him a budget like this, he would fire them.”
The MLA feels the budget also fails to address rural concerns, such as wildlife management and rural health care.
“It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think there’s a lot to this budget that’s going to help British Columbians.”
Columbia River-Revelstoke’s representative felt that there was a particularly glaring omission when it came to addressing small business concerns.
However, Clovechok was able to pick out one positive from the proposed spending: a year-round workforce for the BC Wildfire Service.
“The NDP has finally listened to us. We’ve been harping on them to be proactive in their approach to wildfires and natural disasters,” said Clovechok. “They have to start forward-thinking on this and they have put some money towards it.”
He is, however, skeptical.
“The NDP are good at telling people what they’re going to do and not so good at delivering what they ought to do. It’s not a bright future for B.C. when you look at this budget.”
Clovechok said he and the other B.C. Liberal MLAs will debate the budget in the legislature, with hopes to see revisions the party finds more agreeable.
More: NDP projects $5.5 billion deficit in 2022-23 budget (Feb 22, 2022)