Today in the legislature I rose briefly to respond to the BC Liberal’s pre-election budget. I had originally been scheduled to rise earlier in the week but the cold that I had (which caused me to lose my voice) precluded me from speaking for 30 minutes then. Unfortunately, according to the standing orders, a vote on the budget had to be called this morning. And seeing as some of the speakers took a little longer than we expected, time ran out before a number of us could rise to speak.
Nevertheless I had a little over one minute to outline why I was not supporting the budget. A more thorough response will be given when I speak at second reading of the Budget Implementation Act, the Act that implements the measures contained in this year’s budget.
As one might expect, the budget vote passed 44-31 with the BC NDP and I voting against it.
Below I reproduce the text and video of my response.
I do recognize that according to standing orders, I have very little time. I just rise quickly to state that obviously, I do not support this budget. This budget is filled with political calculations in an election year.
For example, the MSP premium, which is highlighted in this budget, has a big cut. It’s something you still have to apply for. It’s something that won’t be in effect until 2018. It doesn’t actually eliminate MSP. It still retains the burdensome administrative overhead. There are many, many other examples here.
It’s a budget without a vision. It’s a budget from a government that’s lost touch with the people. It’s a budget from a government that didn’t recognize that its windfall came from an out-of-control real estate sector in Vancouver. Instead of using that money to help those who have been affected by it, through affordable housing, it’s putting it to boutique tax credits for their friends and relatives.
With that, I’ll say that this budget is not something I can support. I look forward to standing with my colleagues on this side of the House and voting against it very shortly.