The B.C. government has unveiled Budget 2023 and it’s projecting a $4.2-billion deficit in 2023-24.
However, provincial officials believe it will decline to $3 billion in 2025-26.
The government announced plenty of new spending in various areas.
An additional $4.5 billion will build on cost-of-living investments.
This includes increases to the B.C. climate action tax credit and a new credit to help out moderate and low-income renters.
“B.C. is a great place to live, but people are facing real challenges – not only from global inflation and the pandemic, but from ongoing and systemic challenges,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance in a release.
“This year’s budget helps protect people who can’t afford today’s high prices and takes action on the issues people care about, like finding affordable housing and accessing health care.”
The province is looking to tackle housing affordability and access with $4.2 billion.
They are looking to get more housing developments off the ground and will also be buying land to build homes near future transit development projects.
Provincial officials said part of this funding will also go towards addressing homelessness and encampments.
The biggest chunk of change will go toward healthcare and public safety.
The province has announced $6.8 billion in new spending there.
It will go towards getting more healthcare workers in B.C. as well as increasing mental health supports.
Public safety initiatives include more funding for hiring police officers, as well as $87 million to support the launch of the repeat violent offending intervention initiative, and the special investigation and targeted enforcement program.
Lastly $1.4 billion is going towards advancing the province’s economy.
This includes supports for breaking down post-secondary barriers and speeding up foreign credential recognition.
The entirety of Budget 2023 can be found below.
MORE: Budget 2023 (B.C. government)
–Files by Josiah Spyker, My East Kootenay Now