Cutting Taxes for B.C. Families
- On July 1, B.C.'s personal income tax rate will be cut by one percentage point.
The tax reduction will be capped for those earning more than $80,000.
- The tax cut, BC Hydro and ICBC rate freezes, and the post-secondary tuition
fee freeze will save the average B.C. family up to $500 a year.
- The home owner grant threshold is raised so that 96 per cent of B.C. homeowners receive the full grant.
- The property transfer tax threshold is increased so more first-time home buyers will be exempt from the tax,
saving them up to $3,500 when they buy their home.
Taxes Frozen To the Year 2000
- New legislation freezes taxes and prohibits the introduction of any new taxes on individuals and families until the year 2000.
Tax Cut for Small Business
- On July 1, the small business income tax rate will be cut by 10 per cent.
- A two-year income tax holiday will be in effect for new small businesses.
- Together, these measures will save small business $29 million a year.
Jobs a Top Priority
- The economy will grow 2.7 per cent in 1996, helping to create 40,000 new jobs in 1996 and 43,000 new jobs in 1997.
- Special efforts will be made to protect the B.C. salmon industry, coastal communities and related jobs.
- 21,000 new forest sector jobs will be created in partnership with the industry.
- A new partnership with the tourism industry will help create 23,000 new jobs in that sector over the next five years.
Cutting the Size and Cost of Government
Actions to cut government spending and debt include:
- Reviewing government programs to cut costs and streamline bureaucracy.
- Freezing new capital spending until a review on capital projects is completed.
- Eliminating 2,200 positions from the public service this year, saving more than $210 million annually.
- Cutting the number of ministries from18 to 15 -- the smallest number in 35 years.
- Eliminating two Crown corporations: BC Systems and BC Trade, saving taxpayers $71 million a year.
- Extending the freeze on salaries for cabinet ministers and MLAs.
- Ending the gold-plated MLA pension plan.
- Saving up to $113 million by holding the line on public sector wages.
- Reducing welfare caseloads - May figures show that caseloads are down by 12,000 cases from the same time last year.
Guarantee for Youth
The Guarantee for Youth provides B.C.'s young people with the education, skills, training, and job opportunities they need through:
The government has also introduced Youth Works -- a BC Benefits initiative that will provide training and work experience
this year for more than 20,000 young people on welfare.
- Tuition freeze -- freezing post-secondary tuition fees for two years.
- Access to spaces -- guaranteeing post-secondary spaces for every qualified student, creating 7,000 new spaces this year.
- Access to jobs -- the Guarantee for Youth is creating new job opportunities in partnership with the private sector.
Government Debt Drops
- Total government debt will decline by $99 million this year.
- B.C.'s debt servicing costs are less than 8 cents for every dollar of revenue -- the lowest in Canada.
- B.C.'s credit rating is the best of any province in Canada.
- B.C. will have a budget surplus of $87 million this year.
- Revenues for the next year will be up 2.6 per cent to $20.7 billion. Spending is estimated to be $20.6 billion, up 2.1 per cent --
half the rate of inflation and population growth.
- Real per capita cost of government is 2.2 per cent less than last year, and down 7 per cent since 1991.
Protecting Health Care and Education
The B.C. government is making the strongest commitment of any provicial government to ensure that
health care and education are protected.
Action taken includes:
- Increasing hospital funding by 2.5 per cent over 1995 levels.
- Providing new funding to reduce waiting lists for heart surgery, cancer treatment, and hip and knee replacement surgery
- Establishing a new B.C. Health Care Scholarship so health care workers can upgrade their skills.
- Increasing public school funding by 3.5 per cent, accommodating population growth.
- Building and expanding hundreds of schools since 1991 to create more than 55,000 new spaces for students.
Budget '96 (Province of B.C.)
Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations
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