VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – The BC Liberals plan on balancing the budget by limiting spending, raising taxes on the wealthy and businesses, and selling off Crown land.
So what would an NDP government do differently?
Finance Critic Bruce Ralston is hinting he’d like to lower MSP premiums, which the BC Liberals will raise by four per cent in January.
“MSP Premiums generate over two billion dollars in revenue annually,” Ralston says.
“To turn that ship around and do away with MSP premiums or dramatically reduce them would be difficult. I think you could begin to make some steps in that direction, but it would require some time to change the direction.”
Ralston is vague on how long it will take his party to balance the books if they are elected.
“The goal and the intention is to balance the budget,” Ralston says. “That’s firm, but whether we would be able to do that in the first year is something that we would have to look at.”
Ralston found lots of areas in the budget to be critical of, such as health care spending and what he calls a lack of resources for the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
There is some common ground between the two parties, however.
Ralston likes the move to boost the corporate income tax rate from 10 to 11 percent and the temporary 2 percent income tax hike on people who make more than $150,000 a year.
“I do agree with those increases,” he says.
Ralston won’t say when his party will be releasing its platform.