B.C. budget: What it means for you
B.C.'s new provincial budget gives a little and takes a little.
The bad news
- Medical Services Plan premiums will increase by an estimated four per cent on Jan. 1, 2014. The hike represents a 91.66-per-cent increase in MSP premiums since 2001.
- A temporary two-year increase in the personal income tax rate for individuals earning more than $150,000. Rising 2.1 percentage points to 16.8 per cent on Jan. 1, 2014.
- Smokers will pay an extra $2 a carton, effective Oct. 1, 2013. No increase in alcohol taxes.
- General corporate income tax rate rises to 11 per cent from 10 per cent. That still leaves B.C. with a rate 33 per cent lower than in 2001 and still among the lowest in Canada, according to the government.
The good news
- B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant: A one-time $1,200 grant toward a B.C. resident child's Registered Education Savings Plan after the child reaches age 6. Payments are made from the Children's Education Fund, established 2007.
- New B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit will provide $146 million to approximately 180,000 families with children under age six, effective April 1, 2015. Up to $55 a child/month, with most receiving the full amount. Those with family incomes between $100,000 and $150,000 a year will receive a partial benefit. About 90 per cent of B.C. families are expected to be eligible.
- RCMP frontline policing budget gets an additional $52 million over three years.
- Early Years Strategy will invest $76 million over three years to support the creation of new child-care spaces and improve the quality of child care and early years services. This includes $32 million to support the creation of new childcare spaces and $37 million to improve quality of available services.
- Sports and Arts Legacy Fund gets $60 million in new and reallocated funds.
- The recently announced B.C. Creative Futures gets an additional $18 million to increase youth participation in the arts.
- Additional $13 million to support the renewal and renovation of 13 provincially owned single-room occupancy hotels in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside.
- An additional $5 million to fund enhanced treatment, counselling and prevention services to address problem gambling.
- An additional $12 million over three years to complete funding for the medical expansion program, fulfilling a commitment from 2001.
- $20 million to provide carbon tax relief for commercial greenhouse vegetable and flower growers.