de Jong Budget 2015 (1)VICTORIA: Highlights from the British Columbia budget tabled Tuesday:
_ Surpluses are forecast for the next three years: $284 million in 2015-2016; $376 million in 2016-2017; and $399 million in 2017-2018.
_ The projected surplus for 2014-2015 is now $879 million, significantly higher than the $184-million surplus projected a year ago.
_ B.C.’s economy is expected to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2015; 2.4 per cent in 2016; and 2.3 per cent in 2017.
_ The budget includes no revenues from the liquefied natural gas industry, which B.C. bc balance budget 2015Premier Christy Clark has promised will one day bring in billions of dollars.
_ Declining natural gas prices are expected to cause royalties to fall by 36.5 per cent in 2015-2016, leaving the province with $344 million from the sector compared with $542 million in the current year.
_ The province expects to end 2015-2016 with $66 billion in debt, growing to more than $70 billion by 2018.
_ Child-support payments will no longer be factored into social-assistance calculations at a cost of $32 million for the next three years.
_ Parents can claim $250 under a new children’s fitness equipment tax credit, which translates to a maximum benefit of $12.65 per child.
_ Teachers who participate in extracurricular coaching can claim a tax credit that will be worth $25 per year.
_ Health-care premiums will increase by four per cent on Jan 1, 2016. Monthly rates for a single person will increase by $3 to $75 per month, while families will pay an extra $6 per month for a total of $150.
The Canadian Press
© 2015 The Canadian Press