REALITY CHECK: B.C. Liberal televised address: Claims more fiction than fact

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The premier’s televised address on Wednesday was the latest sign of desperation from a B.C. Liberal government that has lost all credibility. The speech is further evidence that B.C. Liberal claims are more fiction than fact:

Claim: People who make up to $72,000 will get a tax break.

Fact: People who make less than $72,000 will see less of a benefit than those who earn more, with over half of the tax break going to the richest 20 per cent of people.

Claim: The tax break is designed to benefit the middle class.

Fact: Over half of the tax breaks handed out go to the wealthiest 20 per cent of British Columbians, and the poorest 40 per cent of people in B.C. won’t receive a dime.

Claim: The tax break will offset the HST.

Fact: You still lose, thanks to the HST. The tax break for an average double-income family comes up short by several hundred dollars compared to the $1,128 more per year that same family will pay under the HST, according to Statistics Canada.

Claim: Charts accompanying the premier’s infomercial show how British Columbians are faring better when it comes to paying taxes.

Fact: Economist have said the charts in the presentation are “misleading as presented,” and “deceptive, maybe intentionally deceptive.” The charts also fail to include taxes such as the HST.

Claim: On Sept. 24, 2011, everyone in B.C. will get to be the finance minister for a day.

Fact: In the referendum, voters will have an opportunity to stand up to the B.C. Liberal HST betrayal, but will not be able to reverse any other decisions made by the Minister of Finance and the B.C. Liberals. British Columbians will not have the power to properly fund education and health services, the arts or green, sustainable transportation.

Claim: The B.C. Liberals will not be ‘selling the HST.’

Fact: So far, taxpayers have shelled out over $1 million for B.C. Liberal pro-HST propaganda, including the premier’s $240,000 infomercial, the new B.C. Liberal HST information centres, the glossy pro-HST pamphlet that ended up in the shredder, radio advertisements, and a leaflet that accompanied rebate cheques.

Claim: A new plan will ensure every child that leaves grade four will be reading, writing, and doing math at the fourth grade level.

Truth: The funding for this commitment only adds up to $11 per student in grades one through four or a mere $1,600 per school, which doesn’t even make up for the 2009 B.C. Liberal cut to literacy programs. Additionally, the B.C. Liberals are leaving schools short on funding after hitting them with hikes to MSP premiums, hydro rates and more operational expenses.