VANCOUVER – BC's New Democrats took an important step today towards bringing British Columbians the change for the better they're looking for by detailing the fiscal plan that will be included in the 2013 BC NDP election platform.
“Adrian Dix has consistently said that we will be clear about what an NDP government will do and how we will pay for it. Today we are delivering on that promise,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston. “These prudent revenue measures will fund our platform commitments that will be announced in the coming days. The bottom line is that New Democrats will not add to the real Liberal deficit.”
Ralston outlined a small number of new revenue measures and identified reallocations from existing BC Liberal government commitments totalling $311 million in 2013-14, $733 million for 2014-15 and $988 million for 2015-16.
These measures include:
• Corporate income tax rate increased from 11 to 12 per cent. Effective October 1, 2013, this measure will add $100 million in revenue in 2013-14, and $200 million in 2014-15 and 2015-16. British Columbia will still have the fifth-lowest corporate tax rate in Canada. There will be no increase to the small business rate or the small business earnings threshold.
• Corporation capital tax reinstated on financial institutions. Effective October 1, 2013, the NDP will reinstate the corporation capital tax on financial institutions. Banks will pay three per cent, while financial institutions with headquarters in BC including credit unions will pay one per cent. Credit unions with capital holdings less than $20 million will be exempt. This measure will add $75 million in revenue in 2013-14, and $150 million in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
• High income earners’ personal income tax increased. Effective January 1, 2014, the top two per cent of high income earners in BC will see an increase to 19 per cent on taxable individual income above $150,000. This measure will add $50 million in revenue in 2013-14, $200 million in 2014-15 and $240 million in 2015-16.
• Carbon Tax base expanded to vented oil and gas emissions. Effective April 1, 2014, an NDP government will expand the application base of the carbon tax to include vented emissions from oil and gas operations, capturing an additional five per cent of carbon emissions in the province and contributing to British Columbia's climate action goals. This measure will add $35 million in revenue in 2014-15, $70 million in 2015-16, and $100 million in 2016-17. The objective of this measure is to ultimately drive down emissions and stimulate innovation in the sector.
• Existing and budgeted BC Liberal government spending reallocated to new priorities.
An NDP government will reallocate some program and discretionary spending to new priorities, shifting $86 million in 2013-14, $148 million in 2014-15 and $328 million in 2015-16. Some examples of program reallocations include:
- the BC Training and Education Savings Grant and Early Years Strategy will be repurposed into a new childcare and early education plan; and,
- the Early Childhood Tax Benefit will be repurposed as part of a new poverty reduction strategy.
NDP platform co-chair Carole James said more details on these reallocations will be released as the NDP unveils its platform commitments.
“Our plan will help those who need it most, making life better for all British Columbians," said James. “The Liberals have no vision. They have failed to govern the province in a practical way, and they have made it clear that they aren’t up to addressing the challenges facing the province. We know we can’t do everything, but we have to do better. The NDP platform will lay out that plan over the coming weeks."
Adrian Dix and BC's New Democrats are offering change for the better, one practical step at a time.