February 21, 2012
BC Budget News
Government falls short in
creating a diversified and sustainable economy
by the BC Green Party
BC Liberals interpret developing diversified trading partners for
our resources as economic diversification. The budget fails to build
a truly sustainable economy that is resilient and can withstand
global economic pressures.
"BC Greens have concerns that the government is staking BC's future
on trade of our non-renewable resources, gambling revenue and
consumer spending, and revenue from our crown corporations which the
auditor general has questioned," said leader Jane Sterk.
"Greens believe a diverse economy would be one based on local
resilience. The BC Liberals plan furthers the risk of 'Dutch
Disease' where our dependence on natural resources hollows out our
ability to create real economic diversification throughout BC.
"Despite the conservative assumptions about growth and the impact of
the global economy on BC, the government's strategy is questionable.
They are prone to overstate resource revenue; they promote an
expansion of gambling revenue; and they include income from BC Hydro
when the Auditor General has questioned the deferral accounting
methods the Crown Corporation uses.
"BC Greens believe the sale of assets produces a one-time cash
inflow that distorts revenue. True revenue should be replicatable
and able to maintain consistency year over year. In addition, Greens
worry that the sale price of these assets will not reflect the true
economic value of these enterprises.
"Greens question tax credits like those offered for children's
fitness and arts. These benefit families that already invest in
these programs thus denying government unnecessarily of revenues.
Furthermore, tax credits clutter the tax system and mean greater
government expenditures to manage the accounting of such rebates.
The rebates for second and recreational properties are similarly
unnecessary and benefit disproportionately the wealthy.
"Greens are very concerned about the implications to real action on
climate change and our province's ability to meet our legislated
targets given the review of the carbon tax and the language used
which seems to indicate that the tax may be scraped.
"Greens notice that missing from the budget and the language used to
frame the decisions is any dollars for climate change, food
security, community based energy production, affordable market
housing, energy efficiency retrofits and water security. These are
all investments that would help diversify the economy.
"The continued emphasis by the BC Liberal government on tax cuts
indicates a willingness to engage in a race to the bottom - that BC
is for sale and on sale. Greens question the assumption that
lowering taxes generates a positive economy given that the minister
pointed out that consumer spending continued to climb even after the
introduction of the HST," concluded Sterk.
© Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice