Provincial budget means bigger costs, say NDP

VICTORIA – The provincial budget released Tuesday offers a few carrots for families with younger children, and firsttime homebuyers. But it also brings in a four per cent increase in Medical Service Plan premiums.


Children born on or after Jan. 1, 2007 are eligible for more than $1,200 for their Registered Education Savings Plan and starting in April 2015 a B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit will provide up to $55 per month for children under six years old.


The government also increased the threshold for property transfer tax for first-time homebuyers, to $475,000 from $425,000.


The New Democrats, however, are saying British Columbians can expect to pay an average of $900 more over the next three years just in hydro and medical premium increases under the Liberal government’s budget.


New Democrat finance critic Mike Farnworth said that, over the next three years, hydro will cost the average B.C. family $477 more, and they’ll be paying $400 more in MSP premiums.


"The B.C. Liberals’ narrow political self-interest has once again trumped the interests of hard-working B.C. families," Farnworth said. "This budget is built on the backs of B.C. families, making them pay more but get less."

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