Surrey MLA Marvin Hunts says the provincial NDP government is “dismantling the very structure” the Liberals created to attract jobs and investment to B.C.
“I’m shuddering” as to what kind of tax increases are ahead, the Liberal MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale said. He charged the NDP is blowing through money in an “heartbeat.”
“That looks exactly where they’re headed, the good old process of tax and spend, which is not healthy for the economy,” he said in response to the NDP’s first budget, released earlier this week.
“They’re dismantling the very structure that we created in order to attract jobs and investment to B.C., and that is for example the low corporate income taxes, you know, for the high wage earners, the carbon tax , all those sorts of things, which is all going to come down to the very people that they want to grow the economy,” Hunt told the Now-Leader.
“So why would you come to B.C. when we’ve got such high real estate prices, when I can go to Alberta for the same price, for the same tax rates, so they’re saying what they’re doing is not bad because it’s what Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have but they’re losing the competitive advantage so all these high-tech jobs that they want, they just gave them a big tax hike, and they’re sitting saying ‘We’re gonna get you’ all the way around, but come to B.C. because we’re a wonderful place.
“It just doesn’t make any sense,” Hunt said.
Bruce Ralston, a cabinet minister and NDP MLA for Surrey-Whalley, said the NDP in its budget is fulfulling some campaign promises “to make life more affordable for British Columbians, so that’s why we took the tolls off the Port Mann and certainly in Surrey it’s very popular, and in Langley. There’s probably less traffic on the Pattullo, which would be welcome in New Westminster.”
His party also reduced MSP premiums for everyone, he said, “including people that are earning in the top two per cent. We’ve reduced MSP premiums by half beginning January the 1st.”
“I think there’s a lot of optimism,” Ralston said. “There are many, many reasons why people want to come to British Columbia.”