The BC government has done the obvious things that had to be done to deal with their budget deficit. Taxes had to be raised and it was obvious that those who are able to pay more are the rich and the corporations. The temporary two-year, 2.1-per-cent personal income tax hike for those earning more than $150,000 a year and the corporate tax increase of one percentage point to 11 per cent from 10, are progressive and welcome.
However, the Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums will increase by about four per cent in January 2014. Not only are fixed premiums a regressive tax - but the province will be raising as much money from the MSP as from the corporate tax stream.
It is becoming clear, even to quite conservative governments like the BC and Alberta governments that the tax cut agenda that the federal and many provincial governments have been implementing this past decade has been a failure. It is encouraging to see that now more and more provincial governments are rejecting this approach.
Prime Minister Harper's cherished low corporate tax plan is also falling apart as one by one the provinces are backing out of the agreement they made to lower corporate tax rates. These tax cuts did not stimulate investment or create many jobs and left governments deeper in deficit.
The tide is turning. The time has come for a fair tax alternative that would raise the revenue needed to fund quality social programs and infrastructure investments that would help to build a better Canada.