Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations
Honourable Paul Ramsey, Minister
This electronic version
is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.
BUDGET 2000 HIGHLIGHTS
Budget 2000 reflects a modern, balanced direction for the new government
by saying yes to tax cuts and no to megaprojects, cutting taxes for the middle
class, low-income earners and small businesses, and investing in a healthy,
well-educated and productive workforce. It balances the top priorities of
today's families education, health care, childcare, and tax cuts with
the need to control the deficit.
Targeted tax cuts to fuel B.C.'s economic momentum
- Over the next two years, B.C. will put more than half a billion dollars
back into the pockets of British Columbians with provincial income tax cuts
targeted to the middle-class and low-income earners.
- Total B.C. personal income tax will be reduced by $225 million this year,
and $354 million next year.
- On July 1, B.C.'s small business tax rate will be reduced to 4.75 per cent
the lowest rate in Canada.
- A new three per cent investment tax credit will reduce the cost of new
manufacturing and processing assets, reducing capital costs and encouraging
Investing in the top priorities of today's families education
- Tuition fees for colleges and universities are frozen for the fifth
- An increase of $85 million to universities and colleges will restore core
funding, help with the tuition freeze, and create 5,025 new student spaces,
including 800 new high tech spaces.
- 300 new teachers will be hired to further reduce class sizes in early K-12
- School districts will receive $445 million towards the construction of
over 100 new schools, additions and expansions. By spring 2001, there will
be 1,900 portables, down from 3,091 in 1998.
Investing in the top priorities of today's families health care and
- This budget increases health care spending for the ninth-straight year, by
- $24.8 million is provided to hire up to 600 new nurses and create 400 new
spaces in nursing programs at B.C.'s colleges and universities.
- $8.4 million is provided to open new continuing care beds for a total
increase of $34.4 million for continuing care services.
- A new agreement with B.C. doctors, and an investment of nearly $2 billion
this year for doctors' services, means better patient care and an end to
- $8 million in funding will help reduce waitlists for health services for
children, including those with special needs.
- $14 million for before-and after-school childcare is provided, effective
January 1, 2001.
Strengthening B.C.'s competitive position
- A new B.C. High Technology Commission is established to promote our
high-tech advantage around the world.
- In partnership with the federal government, B.C. will defer income tax on
stock options and lower tax on capital gains, reducing provincial taxes for
high-tech entrepreneurs and workers by $33 million.
- A $7.5 million investment for Fisheries Renewal B.C. will help restore and
protect fish stocks.
- A $10 million increase for agriculture producers and communities will help
boost rural economies.
MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER
It is my pleasure to present B.C.'s first budget of the new millennium.
Budget 2000 represents a modern, balanced direction for the B.C.
government. Over the past four months, I have spoken to hundreds of British
Columbians about their priorities for this budget. And what I have heard, in
overwhelming numbers, is that the budget must be open, honest and transparent.
British Columbians have also said they want taxes to be lower, to put more money
in their pockets and to energize the economy. Investments in education, health
care and childcare also remain high priorities.
In this budget, we have made decisions that balance these priorities with the
need to control the deficit. This budget is the most open and transparent in
British Columbia's history. While British Columbians may have differing opinions
about the choices made in this budget, they agree that they must have confidence
in the facts and assumptions behind it. This budget is a significant step
forward in achieving that goal.
Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations
THE BUDGET TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT
The government has listened and accepted the advice of the Auditor General,
an independent panel on budget transparency and accountability, the Opposition
and other British Columbians in creating new legislation that sets the highest
standard for budget openness in Canada. Changes include:
- An all-party budget consultation committee of the legislature. As
the first step in the budget process, this committee will be provided with
up-to-date information on B.C.'s fiscal performance, consult with British
Columbians on the budget and make a public report by December 31 of each
- A fixed budget deadline. The budget debate will now be completed
prior to March 31 each year.
- Complete disclosure of material assumptions supporting forecasts,
including the advice of the Economic Forecasting Council. The Secretary
to the Treasury Board, a senior public servant, will certify the disclosure
- A "single bottom line" for government finances.
Government will now report its bottom line on a summary accounts basis,
which combines Crown corporation results with those of government
ministries. This action puts B.C. at the forefront of budget disclosure in
Canada, and dramatically increases the transparency of government's
- Opening the books on all major capital projects. Government will
fully disclose its objectives, business case, performance targets and, each
and every year, the current and anticipated costs to the taxpayer.
- Hold government to a higher standard when additional spending must be
authorized. The tabling and open debate of supplementary estimates will
be the rule.
B.C. FISCAL FACTS 2000 AT A GLANCE
- Increase in B.C. exports in 1999 10.2 per cent
- Number of jobs created in B.C. in 1999 36,200
- Economic growth in 1999 1.4 per cent
- Economic growth forecast for 2000 2.2 per cent
- Projected deficit for 2000/01 $1.278 billion
A MODERN ECONOMIC DIRECTION
This budget takes a new, modern direction to fuel our economic recovery in
the short run, and to further strengthen our competitive position in the long
run. This budget supports this objective by cutting taxes, building an
innovation economy based on the strengths of our land and people, and investing
in a healthy, educated and productive workforce.
To help encourage the growth of environmental industries, the province is
making a $5 million investment to support green technology research and
demonstration projects for made-in-B.C. inventions. And, to encourage expansion
of B.C.'s booming film industry into the regions, funding has been provided for
regional film offices in key locations around the province.
Tax cuts to stimulate consumer spending
In this budget, government is taking a new approach to build economic
momentum, with targeted tax cuts to middle- and low-income British Columbians.
- British Columbia taxes will be cut by $175 million as a result of the
recent federal personal income tax cuts. B.C. is delivering those tax cuts
to British Columbians in full. In addition, B.C. is cutting $50 million more
this fiscal year, and another $70 million next year.
- The B.C. personal income tax structure will be indexed to inflation,
protecting all taxpayers from "bracket creep."
- A single-income family earning $45,000 will have a 9.9 per cent tax cut.
These changes have been made possible because we are moving to a made-in-B.C.
tax policy where our tax is calculated on income and not on federal tax,
allowing us to shape this and all future tax cuts.
Tax cuts for jobs and investment
B.C.'s new economic direction balances personal tax cuts with new tax
measures to encourage business growth and investment.
- The small business income tax has been cut again this year, from 5.5 per
cent in 1999, to 4.75 per cent, effective July 1. B.C. will have the lowest
small business tax rate in Canada.
- Effective April 1, this budget introduces a three per cent investment tax
credit to reduce the cost of new manufacturing and processing assets to
Quality of life: A competitive strength in B.C.
A healthy, well-educated workforce living in a healthy and clean environment
is a significant strategic advantage in the global economy. Our government
provides vital services because today's families need them. That is one of the
soundest investments a government can make. This budget focuses those
investments in three key areas: improving education, strengthening health care,
and offering new childcare support for working families.
- Tuition fees for post-secondary education are frozen again for the fifth
- B.C. maintains the second lowest university undergraduate tuition fees in
- New post-secondary spaces include 400 for nursing students and 800
earmarked for high-tech programs and an expansion of industrial training.
- $1 million will fund 1,000 co-op spaces in high technology for university
and college students in all regions of the province.
- Budget 2000 invests $445 million towards the construction of over
100 new schools, additions and expansions.
- By the spring of 2001, B.C. will have reduced the number of portables in
British Columbia to fewer than 1,900 from 3,091 in 1998.
- Budget 2000 funds up to five new career technical centres, where
students will earn their high school diploma and
receive credits for the first year of a post-secondary program.
FOCUS ON HEALTH CARE
- Budget 2000 increases health care spending by $549 million to help
address problems in the health care system.
- The budget provides additional funding totaling $26 million for continuing
care this year.
- $24.8 million has been added to train and educate new nurses.
- An additional $5 million has been invested to train and hire more licensed
- Government is providing funding to help attract and retain physicians in
The complete Budget 2000 is available on the Ministry of Finance and
Corporate Relations website at www.fin.gov.bc.ca
For more information on Budget 2000, please contact:
Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations
PO Box 9417 Stn Prov Gov't
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9V1
Phone: 250-387-3347 Fax: 250-356-2822
2000: Queens Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada