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BC budget highlights and by the numbers

British Columbia Finance Minister Katrine Conroy has delivered an election−year budget that includes benefits for families and businesses, as well as an increased deficit.

Here are some of its key numbers and estimates:

  • $7.9 billion: 2024/2025 deficit
  • 34 per cent: Deficit increase
  • 0.8 per cent: 2024 real GDP growth
  • $445: Average BC Family Benefit bonus
  • $270 million: Three−year Increase in cancer spending
  • $68 million: Cost of providing free in−vitro fertilization over three years
  • $1 million: New payroll threshold for Employers Health Tax, up from $500,000
  • 50,490: Record number of housing starts in 2023
  • 10,000: Jobs per year over the next decade to boost the electricity grid
  • $123 billion: Total provincial debt
  • 89 per cent: Increase in three−year taxpayer−funded capital spending, versus previous three years

<who>Photo Credit: Canadian Press

Here are some of the highlights:

THE DEFICIT

The 2024/2025 deficit is projected to rise to $7.9 billion, up from $5.9 billion in the updated 2023/2024 forecast.

SPENDING

Taxpayer−funded three−year capital spending almost doubles compared to the past three years, increasing to $43.3 billion, with big outlays on school, health and transport infrastructure.

COST OF LIVING

Families with children get a one−year 25 per cent bonus to their BC Family Benefit. On average, families get $445 more over the year. The measure, which starts in July, will cost $248 million and benefit 340,000 families, with 66,000 to get the benefit for the first time.

A one−time electricity credit will save households an average of $100 over a year, with the credit appearing first on the April bill.

Small and growing businesses benefit from an increase in the health tax payroll threshold.

HOUSING

A flipping tax will be introduced next year, targeting speculators who the province says are driving up housing costs. Profits will be taxed if a home is resold within two years of purchase. Revenue will go to homebuilding.

HEALTH AND SERVICES

From next year, a single cycle of free in−vitro fertilization treatment will be available to people, regardless of income, “who they love, or whether they have a partner,” says Finance Minister Katrine Conroy.

The budget earmarks $8 billion over three years to boost health, education, justice and public safety.

CLIMATE

Some $405 million will be spent over four years to better protect communities against climate emergencies.



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