VICTORIA - Deficit and Surplus:

— The government predicts budget surpluses of $197 million for 2013-2014, $211 million for 2014-1015 and $460 million for 2015-2016.

— The deficit for 2012-2013 is now expected to come in at $1.2 billion, compared with the $968 million predicted in the budget speech last year and a figure of $1.5 billion contained in a revised prediction late last year.

Debt:

— Total provincial debt is forecast to be $62.7 billion in 2013-2014.

Tax increases:

— Beginning January 2014, the personal income tax rate on income above $150,000 will increase by 2.1 percentage points to 16.8 per cent from 14.7 per cent. The increase is to expire in 2016.

— Medical Services Plan premiums will increase by about four per cent effective Jan. 1, 2014

— Tobacco taxes increase by $2 per carton effective Oct. 1.

— Corporate income tax rate will increase by one percentage point to 11 per cent on April 1, 2013 — a year earlier than expected.

— The industrial school property tax credit for light industry will be phased out over two years.

Other revenue:

— Sales of assets, including valuable vacant lots, a former school in Surrey and a parking lot near the legislature, will generate $625 million over the next two years.

— Economic growth is expected to rise by 1.6 per cent in 2013-2014, 2.2 per cent in 2014-2015 and 2.5 per cent in 2015-16.

— Total revenues are expected to grow by about three per cent per year.

— Spending will increase on average by 1.5 per cent in each of the next three years.

New spending:

— A one-time $1,200 grant for children born Jan. 1, 2007, to be deposited directly into a Registered Education Savings Plan. The grants will come from an existing children's education fund that was established in 2007.

— An early childhood refundable tax credit for families with children under six worth up to $660, starting in April 2015. The tax credit is expected to cost $146 million in its first year

— $32 million over three years to create new childcare spaces.

— $37 million over three years to improve the quality of child care and services.

— $52 million for the RCMP to maintain services over three years.

— $18 million to fund programming for kids in the arts.

— $5 million for treatment for problem gambling.

— $13 million over three years to renovate 13 single room occupancy hotels in Vancouver.

Health:

— Spending will increase by $2.4 billion over three years.

— Health spending grew on average seven per cent per year between 200-2006 and 2008-2009. It was reduced to an average of 4.4 per cent in the next four years and the Liberals say they will constrict it to 2.6 per cent.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • Minister of Finance and House Leader

    Mike de Jong

  • Deputy Premier, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Minister Responsible for Housing

    Rich Coleman

  • Minister of Health

    Margaret MacDiarmid

  • Minister of Education

    Don McRae

  • Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

    Ida Chong

  • Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

    Mary Polak

  • Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

    Steve Thomson

  • Minister of Agriculture

    Norm Letnick

  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General

    Shirley Bond

  • Minister of State for Small Business

    Naomi Yamamoto

  • Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

    Pat Bell

  • Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism

    John Yap

  • Minister of Social Development

    Moira Stilwell

  • Minister of Environment

    Terry Lake

  • Minister of State for Seniors

    Ralph Sultan

  • Minister of Citizens' Services and Open Government

    Ben Stewart

  • Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

    Bill Bennett

  • Minister of Children and Family Development

    Stephanie Cadieux



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Thanks for following along!

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@ rvollo : Another basket case budget from the BC Libs. Tight spending talk doesn't apply to their 16.4M taxpayer funded partisan ad campaign.

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@ cfibBC : 30% of #CFIB members affected by 1% corp tax increase. Good that #smallbiz corp tax rate frozen though. http://t.co/p0LyBfCx

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Highlights from today's budget speech.

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@ todmaffin : FACT: The BC Liberals' so-called "balanced budget" will bring the province to a projected DEBT of $62.7 billion.

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"The environment was largely notable by its absence in the 2013 BC Budget,” said Gwen Barlee, policy director with the Wilderness Committee.

“Here we have a government wanting to dramatically ramp up the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry as well as the natural gas sector, but the numbers today show they want to do it on a shoestring budget. They promised us world-class environmental oversight but the reality is that we have lax, inadequate and weak environmental standards in BC, and today’s budget won’t change a thing.”

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The BC Liberal government's final budget is nothing more than political posturing in advance of the May provincial election, said Mark Hancock, secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, B.C.

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"The CCPA praises corporate tax and personal income tax hikes for wealthy British Columbians, but feels the childhood tax benefit is too small to make real difference for families ($55/month when childcare fees range from $800-$1,400/month. Also called rising health care premiums a 'regressive tax.'"

From the budget:

MSP premiums will increase by about four per cent effective January 1, 2014.

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@ CharlesLammam : Govt does an about-face in #bcbudget and sends resoundingly negative signals to investors, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers #bcpoli

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@ garymasonglobe : Say what you will about BC budget - and there's lots of ??? To be asked - but taxpayer-funded debt is envy of many provinces. #bcpoli

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@ marcellam : Spent the day in #bcpoli Budget 2013 lock-up. My take? Does nothing to restore credibility. Bring on the elxn! #timeforchange

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@ RobertCFO : Can't believe BC is tabling a balanced budget and in Alberta we continue to be fiscally irresponsible. Need solutions, not excuses. #calgary

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Ralston: Investment in justice is being reduced when courts and legal services are facing major pressures.

Funding for the ministry of mines is being reduced. No funding for timely permitting in the resource sector.

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Ralston: Government is selling properties, and province will have to consult with First Nations on the sales of those properties.

Quotes economist Don Drummond's report about the province of Ontario: "If assets are to be sold, do not enter any revenue projections from said sales into the budget before the fact."

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Finance critic Bruce Ralston says the budget offers little right now that is needed. Says the 2009 budget committed numbers that had "little to do with reality," brings up the Harmonized Sales Tax as an example.

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Mike de Jong closes by saying he has a "modest" sense of pride that he has presented a balanced budget. Colleagues applaud.

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Full story on income tax hikes.

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Mike De Jong calls this a "responsible, achievable" plan as he closes.

"It may not be your classic pre-election budget. Would it just be easier to run a deficit? Absolutely. When it comes to exercising spending discipline, it's not saying yes that's difficult, it's saying no."

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The Canadian Press summarizes the child and family benefits that Mike de Jong has introduced in the B.C. budget.

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@ keithbaldrey : Children and Families get tiny ($7 million) increase in budget. Turpel-Lafond not happy. #bcpoli

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@ cfibBC : #CFIB rates #BCBudget a "B". Overall good news for #smallbiz, esp PRPP announcement. Balanced budget welcomed, corp tax increase bad signal.

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@ HamishTelford : BC budget too much reliance on temporary measures & unrealistic spending estimates, especially heath care. #bcpoli

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In 2007, when times were a little better, government started saving. Since January 1, 2007, invested $1,000 for every child born in the province. Today, that amount has grown to about $1,200. It's time to unleash the full force of that savings potential.

Effective immediately, every family with a child under seven who meets residency will qualify for an Education and Savings Grant. Government will transfer $1,200 to every family for skills and training after high school. All you need is an RESP in place before your child's 7th birthday.

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Will continue to provide tax credits to seniors and children. $27 million for the children's fitness and arts tax credits.

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"Even with these new investments, debt will remain affordable. Debt's growth will slow as we return to a balanced budget."

From the budget:

Budget 2013 forecasts British Columbia’s taxpayer-supported debt-to-GDP ratio will peak at

18.3 per cent in 2014 -15, and decline to 18.1 per cent in 2015-16.

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“These taxes hurt families by making it more expensive to live here and for businesses to set up shop and employ people. Coming on the heels of a return to the PST, the creation of good jobs will slow," says Jordan Bateman, B.C. director of the Cdn Taxpayers Federation

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$10.4 billion in capital investments over the next three years. Includes $3 billion into transportation, $800 million for public transportation. $30 million for the Gateway program. $9 million for cycling infrastructure.

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"Today, the tools we require to support this growth are skils and training. We are adding significantly to our skills and training infrastructure."

- $29 million for two new trades training buildings at Camosun College in Victoria - $28 million to improve training facilities at Okanagan College

- $17 million to new skills training at colleges and institutes around B.C.

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"Because it is revenue neutral, the carbon helps keep other taxes low. Since its inception, it has raised $3.7 billion, all of which has been reinvested into tax reductions." - Mike de Jong

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