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Health premiums cut in half in pre-election BC budget

Health premiums cut in half in pre-election BC budget

"[Trump] will reduce taxes, will change regulatory regimes and invest in infrastructure and all that will make USA companies more productive and competitive and make it harder for us to compete with the U.S".

It will be phased in with the rate being cut to 3.5 per cent from seven per cent effective this fall, and fully exempt from PST by April 2019. Phasing out the PST on power will cost the province $164 million in foregone revenue.

"Our objective over time is to completely eliminate MSP as an expense for British Columbians ... the timings and structure of that next step will depend on the province's fiscal capacity in the future". Starting in 2018, it will be cut in half.

"There's additional funding for the programs people rely upon and nearly $1 billion left in the pockets of British Columbians to let them make the choices that are important to them".

"Our balance sheet is the envy of the nation and our economic performance is the envy of the nation", said de Jong.

"A significant number of British Columbians remain very, very troubled by the fact that we have this charge, this MSP premium, that doesn't exist elsewhere in the country", de Jong said.

The planned 50-per-cent cut affects households with an annual net income of up to $120,000.

The reductions won't take place until January 2018.

And people who do qualify for the cut must register with the government to get it.

"In a few short months, British Columbians will convene an electoral shareholders' meeting to consider not just the merits of this budget, but the progress we have made as a province", he said in his speech to the legislature. We can choose to invest in building schools, hospitals and highways at record level.

The government attributed the weaker-than-expected performance to higher spending on one-off emergency management preparedness measures such as flood control, forest rehabilitation to prevent fires and infrastructure investments.

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The increased spending over the course of the three-year fiscal plan include $320 million to cover the costs of ongoing negotiations with the teachers' union after the province lost the Supreme Court decision on class size related to special-needs children.

So how might the 2017 pre-election budget compare to its 2013 counterpart, and what will voters see? The budget also includes $2.6 billion in capital spending for colleges over three years.

Clark added there were 70,000 jobs created in the province past year.

"We are proud of the fact that B.C. has led Canada".

The government says a recommendation to expand a program that provides early intervention services for families facing child-protection concerns is among those in line for funding, ear marking $6 million in the budget for legal-aid service pilot projects.

"This prudence acknowledges the downside risks to B.C. economic outlook, which include the potential slowdown in North American economic activity, uncertainty associated with USA fiscal and trade policy, ongoing fragility in Europe, and slower than anticipated Asian demand, particularly in China". Total provincial debt is predicted to rise to $77.7 billion by 2020, up from $66.7 billion in 2016-17.

With Budget 2017 we intend to move to eliminate Medical Services Plan premiums.

For the tech sector, the 2017-18 budget includes $40 million to extend broadband in rural areas, and $87 million for an "enhanced technology strategy", details of which are to be announced at the BC Tech Summit in March.

Clark's government has promised to eventually eliminate the medical premium, a fee that no other government in Canada imposes and which brings in $2.4 billion to the B.C. government every year.

$11 million for the BC Centre for Substance Abuse.

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