NDP stockpiles billions for Eby while people wait for relief

VICTORIA (November 25, 2022) – While British Columbians struggle with the rising cost of living, and the health care, housing, and toxic drug crises that continue to put people at risk, David Eby’s NDP government is celebrating a five-billion-dollar budget surplus.

“Once again we have seen that while inflation has been devastating for B.C. families, it’s been good for David Eby and the NDP,” said Peter Milobar, BC United Critic for Finance. “The second-quarter fiscal update numbers confirm that key supports were held back so Eby could run in his tainted leadership race. Everyday people are now paying the price for his delays, despite the province having the money to provide relief. As these numbers make clear, the NDP have no excuse to avoid making much-needed investments in areas like health care, affordability, and mental health and addictions.”

Today’s report shows the NDP made an $11 billion dollar mistake when they prepared their budget for this year. In the second quarter they are now reporting a $5.7 billion surplus — a more than $11 billion swing from budget 2022’s projection of a $5.5 billion deficit. There have been no corresponding increases in spending in healthcare, housing, or mental health and addictions, despite multiple crises facing these ministries.

“This NDP government has delayed taking action on many serious challenges and people are tired of waiting for the results they were promised,” added Milobar. “At the end of the day, outcomes are what matter. It’s clear from today’s report that a lack of money is not what is stopping Eby and his government from addressing the needs of this province — it’s his calculated efforts to make himself look good through splashy announcements that are timed to suit his personal interests, not the interests of British Columbians.”

The BC Liberals have called on the NDP to make life more affordable for families, including ending the sales tax on used cars under $20,000; suspending the gas tax temporarily; and having MLAs freeze their salaries so they don’t profit off of inflation to the tune of more than $10,000.