Yesterday, the BCGEU entered our submission to the B.C. Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services yesterday, outlining the union's priorities for the upcoming provincial budget for 2018/19.
This budget marks an important moment. It will take the next steps toward a fiscal plan for the province that truly puts families and communities first.
"We support the new government in its readiness to honour and renew this tradition of public leadership. We offer practical suggestions for strengthening the vital public programs and services upon which its success depends," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.
We asked the committee to adopt the following recommendations and advocate for their incorporation into the upcoming budget:
1. Develop and implement a comprehensive affordable housing strategy.
2. Begin implementation of universal, affordable, $10 a Day Child Care.
3. Invest in community-based health and its workforce.
4. Restore funding to the justice system, especially for court services, corrections, and legal aid.
5. Make a significant reinvestment in natural resource management, environmental protection and climate action.
6. Restore funding for postsecondary education.
We also asked the government to explore these options to access additional revenue, and restore fairness to B.C.'s tax and revenue system:
1. Further increase personal income tax rates for society's top earners.
2. Restore B.C.'s corporate income tax rate to 13.5 per cent.
3. Implement new housing-related tax measures.
4. Eliminate costly and inefficient oil and gas subsidies.
5. Strengthen revenue opportunities for the Liquor Distribution Branch.
6. Invest in the proactive enforcement of employment standards rules.
7. Increase operational funding for BC Parks.
"B.C.'s future depends on the government's budget decisions. Immediate action to expand government revenues and to implement tax fairness, invest in vital public services, and promote equality, sustainability and diversification will fulfill the long-term vision for good jobs, healthy families, strong communities and a greater economy for B.C., said Smith.
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