REALITY CHECK: Hansen’s Admission Deficit Will Exceed $1.6 Billion Raises Questions About Motivations For New Sales Tax

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Colin Hansen’s sudden admission that the deficit is expected to be higher than $1.6 billion raises serious questions why the B.C. Liberals are bringing in a new sales tax.

  • Earlier today, when asked what he will do with the $1.6 billion from the federal government for bringing in a new sales tax, Colin Hansen admitted that “We could take it all this year, and bring this year’s deficit down” (CBC Radio, July 30, 2009).
  • The Finance Minister’s admission suggests the deficit will be higher than $1.6 billion this year, more than three times the $495 million maximum the premier promised during the election campaign.
  • The B.C. Liberals have refused to come clean on the size of the deficit, after finally admitting earlier this month that they will break the premier's deficit promise. Top economists and business leaders were warning the premier for months that his pre-election budget numbers didn’t add up.
  • Now British Columbians are getting both a bigger deficit and cuts to programs, and families are paying the price for Gordon Campbell's broken promises and financial mismanagement.

Which leads to the question: Did the B.C. Liberals decide to overturn the tax system, hitting consumers with billions of dollars in new taxes, simply to save face for Gordon Campbell?

Under the Campbell government, B.C. has had the worst rate of full-time job losses, the second-worst performing economy, and the highest level of child poverty in the country.