Andrew Wilkinson must be clear on plan for giveaways, says James

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Andrew Wilkinson says he won’t reveal his tax plans until after the next election, reports Mike Smyth in this morning’s Province.

At a recent town-hall with BC Liberal members, Wilkinson was asked directly if he would eliminate the employer health tax. He said “it’s going to be hard for us to figure out the details until we’re in government” and that he wouldn’t review taxes until after the next election.

He also said “we don’t want to be drawn into the NDP trick of saying, ‘Oh, we’ll go after one tax out of 19.”

Perhaps because the taxes Wilkinson opposes primarily affect the wealthy and large businesses and remain broadly popular with everyday British Columbians.

In the past, Wilkinson has opposed or promised to cancel at least $3 billion annually in taxes on the wealthiest British Columbians and large corporations, including the speculation and vacancy tax ($185m), the school tax on houses over $3 million ($200m), and the employer health tax on the largest 15% of businesses ($1.9b).

Finance Minister Carole James:

“Governing is about choices. Giving away billions would mean deep service cuts or tax hikes for everyone else, hurting those that need it the most. If Andrew Wilkinson gets rid of the employer health tax, is he going to bring back MSP premiums? He needs to be clear. The public expects that.”