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BC’s balanced budget isn’t consistent with previous years: Auditor General

BC’s Auditor General Carol Bellringer believes the provincial government isn’t allegedly calculating all of their expenses and federal fundings.

Issuing a report from her office today, Bellringer claims the legislature’s recorded revenue in the balanced budget is mathematically misleading.

“We disagree with the impact on the accumulated surplus. Assets like hospitals and highways have a long life-span; this is not in line with Canadian public sector accounting standards and so, government has deferred billions of dollars in revenue.”

She says the surplus should only be $3 million as opposed to $700 million as the BC Liberals reported $47.6 billion in revenue and $46.9 billion in expenses.

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The Office of the Auditor General, who claim to spend 40,000 hours on this financial audit going back to last year, believes the government’s obligations were not recorded as part of the province’s debt for 2015-16.

Bellringer says the commitments total $101 billion and are only included as a “small note” in the balanced budget.

“This is the highest of all the provinces, nearly rivalling the federal government’s commitments that were approximately $150 billion.”

BC’s obligations include the ferries, local policing, and independent power producers according to the Auditor General.

Bellringer also claims those numbers have not been fully consistent, based on a year-to-year comparison.

“What we’re saying there is that it’s not being recorded in accordance with the standards that have been established for the public sector.”

She says the province needs to look at context in all areas of calculation.

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