Victoria—The BC NDP government’s first full budget charts a new course with bold investments in housing and childcare that will make life better and more affordable for working people, says the BC Federation of Labour (BCFED).
“For 16 years the BC Liberals made decisions that benefited their rich and powerful friends while they piled higher costs on working families and reduced public services that so many people rely on,” says Irene Lanzinger, President of the BCFED.
“Budget 2018 provides concrete action on housing and expanded childcare that will reduce some of the most significant cost pressures that working families face.”
The $1 billion earmarked for expanded childcare services is the first new social program implemented in our province for decades, says Lanzinger. “New benefits, lower fees, and added childcare spaces all add up to long overdue relief for more than 150,000 BC families,” she says.
“It’s a big first step to creating a universal system for our province that’s good for kids, good for families, and good for the economy.”
On housing, Lanzinger says she’s impressed with the NDP government’s comprehensive plan to deal with housing supply by building more affordable housing, targeting unethical speculation that drives up prices, and enhancing protection for tenants.
“With a record investment in housing to make it more affordable and more available, this budget lays a strong foundation to meet the challenge over time.”
The budget is full of concrete actions to make life more affordable, including the full elimination of MSP premiums, a freeze and reductions on ferry fares, and reduced Pharmacare deductibles for low income British Columbians that will lower the price of prescription drugs.
Other smaller budget measures include an additional $1 million in each of the next three years for the Ministry of Labour for tougher enforcement of basic employment laws covering non-union workers and to modernize employments standards to better protect workers in today’s workplace reality.