A lot of money was dropped on Tuesday when the BC Liberals made announcements on Budget Day.
There were vague promises to eliminate MSP premiums in the future, and some shocked welfare rates remain frozen.
But Premier Christy Clark defended her government’s decision at a press conference on Wednesday.
Clark was asked when the government can make good on its promise to get rid of MSP premiums all together and why the BC Liberals gave no target date.
“MSP brings in $2.4-billion dollars to government. We’re taking a billion dollars out of that and giving it back to middle-class British Columbians, eliminating that other $1.4-billion dollars from the budget. We will [eliminate them], but we need to grow the economy in order to do it.”
The Premier also defended the move to reduce MSP premiums instead of pushing for a PST or personal income tax cut.
“…It was considered, that’s how I know it’s wrong. What would have happened if we’d done a one per cent cut in the PST is it would have benefitted middle-class people by about 200 dollars a year…a cut in MSP, as opposed to PST, will benefit people up to $900 a year. It’s a much much bigger benefit.”
Clark also points to a growing economy when asked about why there was no hike in welfare rates.
Q: When can BC expect welfare rates to go up?
A: No timeline. The goal is to get those ppl on welfare into the economy, give them jobs. pic.twitter.com/lle26foJ7J
— Emily Lazatin (@EmilyLazatin980) February 22, 2017
“Number one priority is to try and support people moving from welfare into work.”
B.C.’S welfare has remained at $610 a month for the past decade.