What will you do to lower taxes? That’s a question we at The Discourse heard from you after we launched a poll asking what you think should top the B.C. election agenda. Our goal is to put you in the driver’s seat of the election conversation because we believe you should guide it, not the candidates or parties.
Leading up to the election we are publishing answers to questions you sent. Today, the question is : What will you do to lower taxes?
As of Oct. 17, The Discourse received answers from two of the four candidates via email. BC Liberal Party candidate RJ Senko will not be responding to questions due to his full schedule, according to a spokesperson from the BC Liberal team. The Discourse reached out to Independent candidate Desta McPherson over Facebook – since no other contact information could be found – but has not heard back yet. This story will be updated if additional responses come in.
I’ll be rotating the candidates’ order of responses with each story we publish. Here are their responses. I’ve copied them directly from the emails they sent.
Andy MacKinnon, BC Green Party
I’m a Metchosin councillor, responsible for our community’s budget. We work to keep our taxes as low as possible, while still addressing the needs of our community. Lowering taxes provincially shouldn’t be a high priority in these troubled economic times, when people are struggling to get by economically.
Mitzi Dean, BC NDP
B.C. is expensive. It’s tough to balance a household budget here. People need help.
The former BC Liberal government handed out tax cuts to the rich while life got more unaffordable for the rest of us.
When we formed government in 2017, we went to work to make life more affordable for people. This included delivering the largest middle-class tax cut in a generation by ending the unfair MSP premiums.
Most British Columbians are now paying less provincial tax than they were in 2017. We did this by focusing on ordinary people rather than tax cuts to the wealthy.
We’ve reduced BC Hydro rates, expanded childcare and made it more affordable for 63,000 kids, and introduced the Child Opportunity Benefit, which will provide up to $2,600-a-year for a family with two kids. We’re reducing ICBC rates by 20 per cent starting next year, and providing a one-time $1,000 direct deposit to families and $500 to individuals. We’re also going to freeze rents to the end of 2021, cap rent increases to inflation, and provide a renter’s rebate of $400 a year for households earning up to $80,000 a year.
- The BC NDP platform is broken down into “commitments” online which include a recovery benefit for British Columbians, affordable housing, economy and affordable health care.
- In the BC Green Party platform, the first section is about affordability and equity followed by another on an inclusive economy.
- The BC Liberal Party pledges to review provincial taxes in its platform and recommend which should be adjusted, reduced or eliminated. The platform says the party has a plan to “dramatically reduce taxes” as well as eliminate the Provincial Sales Tax and Small Business Income Tax for one year.
- CBC News reports more on the BC Liberal Party platform, including its promise to review provincial taxes.