Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives suggests BC budget priorities, anticipating February 17 budget speech

On February 17, BC Finance Minister, Mike de Jong will deliver the 2015 budget speech for the province. The speech has wide ranging implications for government operations and citizens alike.

In a 13 page report published last October, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) recommended several budget priorities which could help shape the direction of the BC budget. The first recommendation addressed in the report is that the government adopts a comprehensive poverty reduction plan, a measure which the CCPA forecasts would cost taxpayers less than half as much as is currently lost combatting the social costs of poverty including expenses in the criminal justice system, lost productivity, and the healthcare sector. BC is one of only two Canadian provinces that has not yet adopted a poverty reduction plan.

Other CCPA budget priority recommendations included infrastructure investments, particularly in transit; climate action initiatives, better funding for education, improvements to make the tax system fairer, and natural resource royalties reform.