Selected responses to the BC budget 2008


Campbell’s carbon tax not revenue neutral for working, low income people
Feb 19 ’08

B.C.’s new carbon tax is being implemented unfairly, says the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union, and will mean that families and low income earners will pay more than their fair share of the costs when the tax on energy consumption is fully implemented in four years time.

….On other key issues, “aside from the green budget focus,” says Heyman, “the finance minister had only hot air or empty platitudes to deal with British Columbians’ other priorities.”…

Heyman was also disappointed that there is no provincial funding for a new child care system, to help B.C. families deal with the long waitlists, high parent fees, and alarming shortage of qualified staff.

Meanwhile, on the social services front, Heyman says new money allocated in the budget still doesn’t make up for the deep cuts implemented during the Campbell government’s first term. …

Campbell budget short-changes kids again
Feb 19, 2008

The Campbell government has once again brought down a budget that totally fails to deliver to K–12 education….

There is no new funding for K–12 despite many new requirements. There is nothing for new requirements for physical education, new English curriculum, or new requirements for carbon neutrality for school districts. The projected budget has not provided a single dollar for these.

The budget provides no money for lowering class sizes to those promised in Bill 33.  It provides no money for students with special needs and the specialist teachers to support them.  It provides no money for teacher-librarians, despite claiming that improved literacy is a major goal of government.

“It’s as if the premier has completely forgotten that his government is responsible for education funding in this province,” said the BCTF president….

Budget ‘green’ spin leaves public services in the cold
February 19, 2008

Carbon tax hype draws attention away from funding needs for women, children, students

VICTORIA—The provincial budget’s overwhelming focus on ‘green’ initiatives such as the new carbon tax is drawing attention away from critical funding shortages for K-12 and post-secondary education, community services, childcare, and housing, the Canadian Union of Public Employees said today.

“Our public services are becoming unsustainable. This budget does nothing to retain services for women, children, students and institutions,” said CUPE BC secretary-treasurer Mark Hancock.

…. Hancock noted that the province is committed to capital funding of for-profit childcare spaces, which will only lead to cuts in pay for childcare workers. “The only money for childcare is coming from the federal government, and it does nothing to address the recruitment and retention problems in child care, because childcare workers don’t get paid enough,” he said. ….“This budget just continues the burden on people in this province who need those services. With the kind of surpluses we have, surely now is the time to undo some of the damage the Campbell government did in its first term.”