B.C. Election Promises Top $1.7 Billion

Submitted. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released a list of each party’s election spending and taxation promises to date, along with their projected costs. The election promises can be found at www.spendingtracker.ca.

The B.C. NDP lead the way with $962 million in spending promises already announced. The B.C. Conservatives come second, with $767,666,667 promised. Way back are the governing B.C. Liberals at $85.15 million. It should be noted that more Liberal spending can be found in its recent 2013 budget, which all parties are using as a baseline.

“We are barely a week into this campaign but the spending promises have been flying fast and furious,” said CTF B.C. Director Jordan Bateman. “While the parties quibble over every point and throw our money around like candy, we felt it was important to give the public a neutral voice to keep track of the dollars.”

Thus far, the Liberals, NDP and Conservatives have released full-costings of their promises. The Green Party, however, has refused to do so, despite a staggering 427 promises in its Green Book.

“One of the great legacies of the HST is that political parties in B.C. learned they need to fully disclose their plans before an election to be take seriously,” said Bateman. “The Greens owe it to taxpayers to tell us what they would do with our money – before we walk into the voting booth.”

On the taxation side, the B.C. NDP and Conservatives are essentially polar opposites: the NDP are promising to raise taxes by $597 million while the Conservatives look to cut taxes by $1.4 billion, if you include the Tories’ plan to reduce government dependence on Crown Corporation income. The B.C. Liberals are eyeing modest tax cuts of nearly $294 million, most of which will simply be ground given away by their tax hikes in Budget 2013.

“While the CTF is in favour of tax relief, our preference is broad-based, rather than boutique tax cuts that attempt to curry favour with one constituency over another with increased collection costs,” said Bateman. “The Liberal tax cut plan is basically removing the high-income tax after two years. They opened the door to tax hikes, and the NDP seem happy to kick it all the way in.”

PDF copies of the costing documents can be downloaded here:

B.C. Liberal platform costing (updated April 22)

B.C. NDP platform costing (updated April 22)

B.C. Conservative platform costing (updated April 22)

B.C. Green platform costing (updated April 22)

The CTF will be updating these costing documents throughout the election as further promises are made or costing is provided on www.spendingtracker.ca.

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