PST pause, more care homes: Highlights of the B.C. Liberal party platform

VANCOUVER — Here are some highlights of the B.C. Liberal party platform released Tuesday:— The seven-per-cent PST would be eliminated for one year, which would cost about $6.9 billion; the tax rate would then be set at three per cent “as the economy gr…

VANCOUVER — Here are some highlights of the B.C. Liberal party platform released Tuesday:

— The seven-per-cent PST would be eliminated for one year, which would cost about $6.9 billion; the tax rate would then be set at three per cent “as the economy grows.”

— The Small Business Income Tax would be scrapped, which would save businesses about $217 million a year.

— All provincial taxes would be reviewed by an independent Fair Tax Commission.

— Child care for low-income earners would be set at a rate of $10 a day with additional subsidies provided for middle-class families, while also adding 10,000 new child-care spaces.

— An additional $1 billion would be spent over five years on new long-term care facilities.

— Every senior citizen living in long-term care who wants a private room would be ensured that they have one.

— Legislation to ban early elections during provincial emergencies would be brought in.

— A system of hybrid and online learning would be set up for children.

— Permit processes used for natural resource projects and new housing construction would be streamlined.

— A new tax credit for seniors of up to $7,000 a year would be created to cover home care, costing about $135 million.

— Drivers would be allowed to buy auto insurance more widely and not just from the Crown-owned Insurance Corp. of British Columbia.

— An additional $58 million a year would be spent on police, the Crown prosecution service and to cover the cost of more psychiatric social workers and nurses to improve public safety.

— Spending on infrastructure would be increased by $8 billion over three years, which the party says represents a 35 per cent jump in spending and would bring the total spent on everything from transportation to hospitals to $30.9 billion over three years.

— The Liberals say their platform adds about $2 billion in new operating expenditures for the province, with $1.1 billion of that going to cover the cost of its child-care promises.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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