Lekungwen Territory; Victoria, BC - Budget 2020 introduces a new tax on the wealthiest and uses BC’s strong economic position to expand public services and social programs that benefit working people. With a record $22.9 billion in infrastructure spending, the budget continues a sea change from the austerity and cuts of the BC Liberal days.
“The NDP government invests in services that families and communities rely on, whether in healthcare, housing, education or childcare,” said Laird Cronk, President of the BC Federation of Labour (BCFED). “The new Child Opportunity Benefits and B.C. Access Grant are game changers that will help fight child poverty and improve access to post-secondary education.”
Budget 2020 also puts a focus on fairness for some of the lowest paid workers in the province.
“By 2021, BC will eliminate the discriminatory server wage and have the highest provincial minimum wage at over $15 an hour” said Secretary Treasurer, Sussanne Skidmore. “We’re seeing real progress for workers: boosts to wages for Early Childhood Educators, increases to the earnings exemptions for income and disability assistance, and the introduction of five days of paid leave for workers experiencing domestic and sexual violence.”
Budget 2020 also delivered on other key progressive priorities that reduce inequality and create secure, sustainable jobs:
- Critical funding for forestry revitalization, and supports for forestry workers
- New investments to specifically address homelessness
- Close to half a billion dollars in new funding for Clean BC
- New resources to help women and under-represented groups access skilled trades training
- Gaming-revenue sharing with First Nations and funding for an Indigenous justice strategy
BC continues to lead the country in growth and job creation. “A key measure of health for any economy is how it reduces inequality and creates opportunity,” added Laird Cronk. “On those measures, this budget delivers.”