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2024-25 provincial budget projects $7.9 billion dollar deficit

“Now is not the time to pull back. We will continue to prioritize affordability for people and families, and the services we all rely on, during this period of slow global economic growth.”

That is according to BC’s Minister of Finance, Katrine Conroy while delivering the BC NDP’s 2024-25 budget this afternoon (Thursday) which is projected to be at a near $8 billion deficit.

The budget includes a BC Family Benefit Bonus that will see more than 340,000 families get a 25% bonus on their monthly benefit with around 66,000 new families receiving it.

The province also said the Employer Health Tax exemption threshold will double from $500,000 to $1 million.

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A property flipping tax starting in 2025 will penalize those who buy and sell property within two years, Conroy saying things are about to get more difficult for “those just trying to make a quick buck flipping homes.”

Profits from this tax will be re-invested into building new middle-class homes.

“Some say we should respond to global challenges by cutting services and leaving people to fend for themselves, but we know we are stronger when we work together,” Conroy said.

“Budget 2024 builds on B.C.’s solid foundation to deliver the hospitals, schools, and homes people need.”

In-vitro fertilization will become free in BC, also in 2025.

In a budget news release, the province said “No one will be denied the opportunity to have a child because of how much money they make, who they love, or whether they have a partner.”

Over the next three years, $43 billion will be invested into pre and postsecondary schools, housing, healthcare facilities, roads, and other infrastructure.

Money will go into the schools, not just their buildings – the province promising “new teachers and support staff, including special-education teachers, teacher psychologists, and counsellors, along with record-level investments to build, renovate and seismically upgrade schools and playgrounds.”

This year is not the only one that will be in a deficit of several billion – however, that number is forecast to go down from $7.9 billion this year to $6.3 billion in 2026-27.

The province noted that “B.C.’s debt-to-GDP ratio is below that of most provinces, including Ontario and Quebec.”

You can read more about the budget here.

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