Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok likes to consider himself a guy who looks on the bright side of things, but he was hard pressed to find much good in the budget brought down this week by the provincial NDP government.
“I always try to find something positive to say, but this is tough,’ Clovechok said. “This is the first full budget that they’ve tabled and it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that they are the same old tax and spend NPD. It’s a different century but it’s the same guys.”
Clovechok says the budget was very heavy on social spending and poverty reduction and these are important issues, but they have to be balanced by some sort of economic generation.
“There is absolutely no mention of anything around economic generation. And that’s key. They are spending at an almost $8 billion deficit. In order to get their balanced budget they are spending the surplus we left them.”
Clovechok also says that in order to balance the budget, the government is counting on a strong economy.
“They are depending on a strong economy but do nothing about economic generation. There is no fiscal plan, no jobs plan, no economic plan. How are they going to pay for it all? Tax, tax, tax.”
He notes that while the reduction in Medical Service Premiums is a welcome one for many in his constituency, especially seniors, the cost of that was put on the back of business. Businesses with a payroll of over $500,000 will pay an extra tax.
“I talked to one business owner last night, a restauranteur. This will cost him almost $23,000 more a year. How do you make that cost back?
“There is a ceiling on what you can charge people for a pizza and that’s it. So businesses are going to lay people off to get under the threshold.
“It’s the same old NDP approach. They are not systemic thinkers. They don’t get cause and effect.”
Clovechok mentioned the “enormous amount of dishonesty” in the NDP campaign promises of $10 a day child care and a $400 rental assistance payment, which there was no mention of in the budget.
“It doesn’t reflect promises made. If you have trouble keeping your promises, you should keep you mouth shut.”
He is also disappointed in the lack of attention to the Trans Canada Highway. The money that was already slated for work is still there, but huge issues, like the area around Three Valley Gap that have not been addressed.
“For the people I serve, it’s going to cost more. Gas will go up dramatically with the carbon tax. The daycare issue is disappointing. I know people who voted for the NDP because of daycare. They are not getting what they were promised when they put their X beside the NDP.
“It’s a disappointing day for all British Columbians, especially those in rural areas.”