BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C. Budget 2014 Not Putting Families First

02/18/2014 04:48 EST | Updated 04/20/2014 05:59 EDT
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VICTORIA - Families First was a surprisingly successful slogan for Premier Christy Clark's Liberals, but families aren't necessarily first in the government's latest budget.

The admittedly "modest" new spending unveiled by Finance Minister Mike de Jong promises $350 million over the next three years for families and individuals most in need.

The bulk of that scant new spending — $243 million — will go to Community Living B.C. and $15 million will go to the Children's Ministry for children and youth with special needs.

The rest of the spending touted for families will go to the RCMP policing costs, which will see a $15 million increase, and $6 million for legal-aid services.

The budget holds the line on K-12 and post-secondary education spending, with no money included for either a $2 million court judgment against the government in favour of B.C. teachers, or funds to address issues such as class-size and working conditions.

Health premiums will also increase by about four per cent, which works out to an extra $5.50 a month for families with children, but there is no change in personal income tax rates.

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