BC Budget 2013 Highlights

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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.

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