VICTORIA – British Columbians already stretched to their limit will face more fee and rate hikes in 2015, continue to get less in services, and pay for Premier Clark’s tax cut to the highest paid British Columbians as a result of the B.C. Liberals’ budget.
“Families are already struggling – their costs are going up and their wages are flat. As if it isn’t enough that families are being nickeled and dimed by rates and fare hikes, they are going to pay to give a break to British Columbians who need it least,” said New Democrat spokesperson on finance Carole James.
James said low and middle income earners need a break, but are instead facing another four-per-cent hike to MSP premiums, a six-per-cent hike to hydro rates, ferry fare hikes, higher tolls, park fees and ICBC rates.
“BC wages aren’t keeping up. In fact they’re falling in real terms,” said New Democrat Leader John Horgan. “Instead of giving a break to families who are struggling, the B.C. Liberals singled out the top two per cent of income earners for a $230 million tax cut.”
“While families are paying more, they’re also getting less in services like schools, hospitals and seniors’ care,” said Horgan. “At a time when parents and young people are worried about opportunities to gain skills and training, the Clark government is cutting $14 million from higher education.
Horgan also pointed to fewer home care hours, lowered standards in nursing homes, overcrowded hospitals, lack of family doctors and underfunded schools as examples of reduced services to families.