For young and old, health care and education are still main budget concerns

Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun

What wasn’t in B.C.’s new budget concerns people as much as what was, Vancouverites told us on Tuesday afternoon.

Although many of the measures were lauded as good ideas, concern over health care and education was uppermost in people’s minds.

Nate Hume, 31, who lives in Vancouver with his wife Angie Chan, 32, and two small children, said the four-per-cent increase in medical services plan premiums does not concern him much. Monthly rates for MSP are $64 for one person, $116 for a family of two and $128 for a family of three or more, so the increase will cost between $2.50 and $5 a month.

“Health care is expensive,” Hume said. “I have less of a problem with that than I do with these big-picture items I see missing here.”…

Chan, however, said she was very disappointed that the Liberal government did nothing to address the high cost and lack of space for child care.

“The dearth of accessible, high-quality child care remains a stress for many families with young children,” she said. “Not only is high-quality child care important for the early development of children, but it is also an important factor in a parent’s ability to enter the workforce. For many families, the cost of child care outstrips most of the financial benefit there may be for a parent to work.”….

Specifically, Hume said he was looking for signs of the government’s commitment to all levels of education, including post-secondary, and he hadn’t found it yet….

Both supported a possible tax rate increase for corporations in 2014, but Nichol hoped it won’t deter any companies from starting up in British Columbia.

“I think if you’re going to increase taxes for anyone it makes sense to do it for corporations,” Nichol said.

Mulholland agreed, saying, “I think if they’re making the money, they ought to be paying.”

Humble said he also supports an increase in corporate taxes, which the government has said it will impose only if the fiscal situation worsens.

“They get a lot of breaks already,” Humble said. “A one-per-cent tax increase is pretty modest.”…