NDP leader Carole James says the Liberals have lost credibility when it comes to running the economy.
She says yesterday’s budget, which includes a 2.8 billion deficit, shows the Liberals deceived voters in the May election campaign. James says if the Premier had been honest about how bad things were months ago, the government could have planned better, and British Columbians could have prepared themselves.
The budget does contain some income tax cuts to offset the harmonized sales tax, but there is also a six per cent hike in medical premiums, and millions of dollars in cuts to government spending, including discretionary grants, such as money for arts and charity groups.
Now, there are some groups supporting the budget, including some in the forestry sector. Rick Jeffery with the Coast forest products Association, says the budget and the benefits of the HST will be a big help to his industry. [asset|aid=1818|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=7eba86249ae96d682e8cb8296977b67b-Jeffery_1_Pub.mp3]
Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm also says there is something in the budget that will benefit this region – an HST rebate on residential energy costs, to match the exemption on the PST. [asset|aid=1819|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=7eba86249ae96d682e8cb8296977b67b-Pimm-2_3_Pub.mp3]
Pimm says even though the deficit will go up in the next three years, it’s because of the good policies that are in place, to maintain the province’s vital services.