BC Liberals

Early thoughts on the budget

It wasn’t mentioned in the speech but budget making is one of the British Columbia government’s more successful job creation programs. Today, Colin Hansen brought down his third in the last year. He didn’t get the first two correct so there was no hope for number three.  Despite the lack of real news, a few things come instantly to mind.

They again reshuffled the $1.6 billion federal HST grant. The total remains the same but they decide whether to count none of it, part of it or all of it in the books of any particular year.  They also reserve the right to change the allocations at any time.

Two days after Campbell waved his flag to celebrate success of the Olympics, Liberals made further cuts to funding of community and family services, arts and athletics. Does the Premier know the word, hypocrite?  To show the mean spirit behind these cuts, the $3 million reduction to sports is less than bonuses to be paid to VANOC executives. And far less than the increased revenue gained by removing sales tax exemptions from recreational programs, bicycles and countless other costs related to health and fitness.

How about dedicating every dollar raised by sales tax to medical care. Now that’s an original thought. Or, at least it was when post-WWII Premier Byron Johnson imposed the first BC sales tax to pay for health insurance. Throughout Cece Bennett’s Social Credit Administration, provincial sales tax was called the S.S.M.A. tax, with all revenues allegedly dedicated to social services and hospitals. Of course, this is a fatuous bit of nonsense by a government that has no regard for honest discourse. They apply lipstick, not solutions.

It is pointless to comment on deficit numbers at this time. The numbers are meaningless since they are fully massaged to achieve political aims and can be changed at whim. If the public doesn’t like the present number, they’ll create another. Until we develop a system where financial reporting is fully independent of politics, provincial financial statements are worthless.

Categories: BC Liberals

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