B.C. unveils ‘boring and balanced’ budget
Finance Minister Mike de Jong tabled a second year of balanced books Tuesday that he says proves his government can follow through on its promises to wrestle down health care and labour costs.
De Jong’s new budget projected a provincial surplus of $184 million in 2014/15, which he acknowledged teeters on the same “razor-thin” margin as last budget’s $175-million surplus. It comes after considerable progress curbing the “budgetary appetite” of the health sector, he said, which gobbles up 42 per cent of the almost $45-billion annual B.C. budget.
The Liberals have curtailed health care spending growth from a high of six per cent several years ago to only 2.6 per cent in this and the last budget — which still equates to $1.4 billion in extra funding over the next three years. “The targets we set, many said were unachievable,” said de Jong.
Economistsare also praising a more-than-$2.87-billion fiscal cushion in forecast allowances, contingencies and surpluses set out over the next three years.
Le budget de la Colombie-Britannique est à l’équilibre depuis l’an dernier et on prévoit des surplus pour les 3 prochaines années… Au Québec, il est de plus en plus difficile d’imaginer un budget équilibré d’ici 3 ans…