British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby Veovis » Mar 6th, 2018, 11:07 pm

So it just goes to show, if you stab a decent person in the back again and again, she'll get with the program.

The comments were clear. Future issues after they are out of power are other peoples problems...please just celebrate the fact of the now....

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby hobbyguy » Mar 7th, 2018, 11:42 am

http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/opinion/article_6400d6c8-21be-11e8-9b58-e70e7c8555c7.html

Heated rhetoric aside, the speculation tax does seem to be a populist bit of politicking that will do little or nothing to actually make housing more affordable. What it will do — indeed, judging from

initial reactions, what it is already doing — is build a needless barrier between B.C. and the rest of the country.

Out-of-province investment brings construction jobs and many economic spinoffs. Although it’s got a crude reckoning of the revenues to be gained from the speculation tax, the NDP has probably not even bothered to estimate its negative impact.

But bashing the rich, or the people perceived to be rich, is built right into the NDP’s DNA.

The tax is a lively conversation in the Central Okanagan, so we decided to try get an answer to at least one obvious puzzlement.

Why will this new tax not apply to Lake Country and Peachland when its coverage area is based on regional districts elsewhere?

We emailed the question to the Ministry of Finance, and didn’t get a straight answer.

What was returned to The Courier on Tuesday was a non-answer that trumpeted the benefits of the speculation tax. We were told the government is presently drafting legislation and regulations and to stay tuned for further announcements.

“The new speculation tax is intended to help deter people from treating B.C.’s housing market like the stock market,” a communications liaison wrote in a brief email.

With respect, we knew all this last week. The fact the ministry could not provide a clear answer to a simple question makes you think they didn’t realize Lake Country and Peachland are right next door to Kelowna and West Kelowna.

Someone should send the NDP government a map of Canada, to remind them what country they’re part of. They might need a map of B.C, as well.
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Louis D. Brandeis

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby Urbane » Mar 7th, 2018, 12:40 pm

Carole James is "standing her ground" but it's time she starts listening:

Columnist Mike Smyth writes about the backlash against the John Horgan government's new payroll tax on business.
Many B.C. businesses are still reeling from the blindside hit of a $4.2-billion payroll tax inflicted out of nowhere by Finance Minister Carole James in her Feb. 20 budget.

The new “employer health tax” replaces unpopular Medical Services Plan premiums, which the NDP promised during last year’s election to phase out.

For the significant number of businesses (generally large ones) that paid their employees’ MSP premiums as a workplace benefit, the new tax is roughly a wash: one business expense is eliminated, while a new one takes its place.

But for other businesses (generally small ones) that did not pay their employees’ MSP, the new tax is a brand-new input cost.

For many small business already struggling to survive, the new tax could be a fatal blow, warns Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant Association.
Full column: http://theprovince.com/news/bc-politics ... s-to-build
"Spectemur agendo"

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby rustled » Mar 7th, 2018, 1:21 pm

“We’re hearing concerns about everything — from impact on businesses’ bottom line to the ability of the public service to provide services,” said Green party leader Andrew Weaver.

So, Weaver's hearing this, but is he prepared to do anything about it? My guess is, not until he and his party are fully entrenched at the trough.

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby hobbyguy » Mar 7th, 2018, 1:43 pm

Urbane wrote:Carole James is "standing her ground" but it's time she starts listening:

Columnist Mike Smyth writes about the backlash against the John Horgan government's new payroll tax on business.
Many B.C. businesses are still reeling from the blindside hit of a $4.2-billion payroll tax inflicted out of nowhere by Finance Minister Carole James in her Feb. 20 budget.

The new “employer health tax” replaces unpopular Medical Services Plan premiums, which the NDP promised during last year’s election to phase out.

For the significant number of businesses (generally large ones) that paid their employees’ MSP premiums as a workplace benefit, the new tax is roughly a wash: one business expense is eliminated, while a new one takes its place.

But for other businesses (generally small ones) that did not pay their employees’ MSP, the new tax is a brand-new input cost.

For many small business already struggling to survive, the new tax could be a fatal blow, warns Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant Association.
Full column: http://theprovince.com/news/bc-politics ... s-to-build


We are witnessing the results of what I pointed out during the election - that the BC NDP had no plan - and a failure to plan is a plan to fail. I pointed out during the election that the BC NDP had no costing, no budgeting, no taxation plans within their platform - just a grab bag of complaints and attacks. Now, because the BC NDP did not do their homework, the real world implications of their false issue promises, and promises that could never be met, are hitting home. BC NDP fantasy meets reality - and the results are a mess. Reminder - it was Adrian Dix who said that the province could not afford $10.day daycare.

Weaver actually gets it in terms of social programs. The Greens had moderately expensive social program plans, but they costed them, budgeted them, and included a taxation plan - and those things meant that the Green social policies were less radical and much more pragmatic while moving in the right directions. In the end, it was only the Green blind spot phony environmentalism that prevented me from voting for them.

I said then that I would like half of the Liberal platform, half of the Green platform, and none of the NDP so called platform. The debacle we are witnessing in Victoria has only one upside, and it is the empty and hollow one of "I told you so".
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Louis D. Brandeis

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby CapitalB » Mar 7th, 2018, 2:42 pm

I think they were expecting a liberal win and planning for another set of opposition years. This is evidenced from Horgan absolutely not being a Premier type candidate. He doesn't have the charisma, tact, pragmatism, or diplomacy to be effective in the position. What he does have, a stubborn obstinate streak, a predisposition for picking fights and pushing buttons, are (this feels wrong to say because its gross) qualities you look for in an opposition leader. They likely chose him expecting to be the scrappy underdog NDP whinging on every move the liberal government made for the next few years. Not that there were necessarily better choices though I think Farnworth seems like a better people person, and seems enthusiastic about getting money out of politics.
So much of the violent push-back on everything progressive and reformist comes down to: I can see the future, and in this future I am not the centre of the universe and master of all that I survey, therefore this future must be resisted at all costs.

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby Urban Cowboy » Mar 7th, 2018, 3:29 pm

hobbyguy wrote:We are witnessing the results of what I pointed out during the election - that the BC NDP had no plan - and a failure to plan is a plan to fail. I pointed out during the election that the BC NDP had no costing, no budgeting, no taxation plans within their platform - just a grab bag of complaints and attacks. Now, because the BC NDP did not do their homework, the real world implications of their false issue promises, and promises that could never be met, are hitting home. BC NDP fantasy meets reality - and the results are a mess. Reminder - it was Adrian Dix who said that the province could not afford $10.day daycare.

Weaver actually gets it in terms of social programs. The Greens had moderately expensive social program plans, but they costed them, budgeted them, and included a taxation plan - and those things meant that the Green social policies were less radical and much more pragmatic while moving in the right directions. In the end, it was only the Green blind spot phony environmentalism that prevented me from voting for them.

I said then that I would like half of the Liberal platform, half of the Green platform, and none of the NDP so called platform. The debacle we are witnessing in Victoria has only one upside, and it is the empty and hollow one of "I told you so".


Very well stated and a perfect summation of what was and is.

Like you I take little solace in being able to say "I told you so", but am not surprised at anything the NDP has done, just perhaps a tiny bit at how fast they've done it this go round, compared to last time.

Perhaps the uncertainty of their time in power, has prompted them to move much quicker in plundering the treasury, and putting in place as many NDP strategies as possible, before they get the boot.
"Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."
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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby rustled » Mar 8th, 2018, 9:41 am

More coming from municipalities about what the health tax means for them:
The City of Kelowna, the largest municipal employer outside the Victoria and the Lower Mainland, will have to find an additional $250,000 on a yearly basis beginning in 2020.

The District of Lake Country will have to find an additional $50,000 beginning in 2020.

However, since it will be paying the new tax and 50 per cent of MSP premiums in 2019, chief financial officer Tanya Garost says the municipality will need to secure an extra $80,000 next year.
...
Other large public employers within the Central Okanagan are also being hit hard.

Interior Health says it will have to come up with another $3.3 million annually beginning in 2020, while School District 23 will be on the hook for an additional $1.4 million in 2019 while the board pays the new tax and half the MSP premiums, and $600,000 annually in 2020 and beyond.

The district is saving $700,000 this year as medical premiums were cut in half, and secretary-treasurer Eileen Sadlowski says a decision will be made later this spring as to how to apply those savings as the district works through its 2018-2019 budget.
https://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/2 ... tting-hard

Some of these numbers strike me as odd. If SD23 is saving $700,000 while the MSP is cut in half, how is it then paying $600,000 more after the 2019 overlap year? Does this mean they're paying $1,400,000 annually for MSP now and will pay $2,000,000 after 2019? (Please, don't rely on my math here!)

This suggests to me that the percentages were set high enough so the entire bill for MSP is to be paid by employers, which seems illogical.

It's as though the NDP realized too late that they'd made a rash promise that would leave a huge hole in their kitty, looked at how much of an increase to personal income tax would be required, and hastily found a "fix" that they figured would cost them the less at the polls.
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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby Veovis » Mar 8th, 2018, 10:26 am

rustled wrote:It's as though the NDP realized too late that they'd made a rash promise that would leave a huge hole in their kitty, looked at how much of an increase to personal income tax would be required, and hastily found a "fix" that they figured would cost them the less at the polls.


This is entirely what happened, and then presented, not calculated guesswork as a "balanced budget" to be "worked out later"

What it means is what they were called on at election time, no plan, no budget, no idea, and no ability.

The deficits that are going to happen and then tell us it was "balanced" are going to be shocking.

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby Urban Cowboy » Mar 8th, 2018, 10:29 am

I'd say Wilkinson has them nailed spot on..........
Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said the minority New Democrat government appears to be making up tax policy on the fly.


I'd go so far as to say they make up all policy on the fly.
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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby hobbyguy » Mar 8th, 2018, 11:53 am

The entire MSP premium political football was generated out of the pandering fight between the BC NDP and the Greens for votes. The initial proposals to eliminate MSP premiums and replace them with income tax was, and is, entirely math challenged when you look at real world results. I have, in the past, shown that the Manitoba NDP approach, which was the scrap MSP and put into income tax, was actually regressive and ended up costing low income residents more $$, not less.

What has resulted in the BC NDP debacle of a "budget" is, I suspect, that somebody in the NDP finally pulled out a calculator and realized that their initial so called "plan" to eliminate MSP premiums and replace them with income tax as being more progressive actually resulted in:

1) a roughly $900 million to $1 billion corporate tax cut, which would then require a significant jump in income taxes to cover
2) a rise in income taxes that would considerably exceed the premiums formerly paid by low income folks
3) a rise in income taxes for the middle class that would have them hopping mad

And a more regressive overall taxation regime, because not only did the BC NDP have to recoup the lost revenue from corporations, but they also had to recoup the lost revenue from folks like me who don't show a lot of "income" but are reasonably well off. (Both the original and new "plans" give me a tax cut I don't need.)

So in desperation, the BC NDP dumped the entire bill on employers. That move, as we have been discussing, has all kinds of ramifications that in the long run will be negative for government revenues and negative for job creation, right in the sweet spot of good paying middle class jobs.

Therein lies the fallacy that underlies the BC NDP so called platform - which in reality was a grab bag of populist vote panders. Populist stuff might be attractive political "science" vote pandering, but generally it is in reality unworkable if thought out.

The fact is that the Liberal's reduced MSP premium plan, which took effect Jan. 1, is not onerous by comparison for middle income earners and is more progressive in the long run. Methinks the BC NDP realized the trap they got themselves into by adopting "lunchroom lawyer" policy as part of their so called platform.

We are seeing this as well with the $10 per day daycare (Adrian Dix rightly said the province could not afford it). It is easy for lunchroom lawyers to say, "Quebec has it - why can't we?". Yup, and Quebec has provincial income tax rates that are waaay higher to pay for it! A median income family in Victoria would roughly pay an additional 12% of their income in provincial income tax - or about $7,000 in additional income tax - and consider that the majority of those families don't have children in daycare. Families with older children and mortgages would get hammered!

The "affordable housing" populist mantra the BC NDP disingenuously ranted on about is a real disaster. The moves they have made will do nothing to make housing more affordable for the target demographic, and will likely leave a fair chunk of them unemployed.

The populist "kill the bridge tolls" BC NDP move is, as Andrew Weaver correctly stated, "reckless policy". Not only that, but the BC NDP are moving with the junior varsity BC NDP (Gregor, Derek and crew) to replace the bridge tolls with congestion point tolls - and so the net effect will be negative for the voters they pandered to.

Meanwhile, expanded pipeline capacity, which would both support BC refineries and bring affordable gasoline from Edmonton to Vancouver, is being fought in a very childish way by the snollygoster George Heyman. For no good reason, and in the process will damage many sectors of the BC economy, including tourism, wine sales, and more - while foregoing $1 billion in future government revenue that we, the taxpayers, will have to fork out. Once again the BC NDP populist excuse for policy is working against the interests of their voters.

Step by step, the BC NDP populist nonsense is being exposed - I jut hope we can get through this debacle without a recession or permanent damage - but that hope is fading.
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Louis D. Brandeis

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby Urban Cowboy » Mar 8th, 2018, 12:02 pm

hobbyguy wrote:Step by step, the BC NDP populist nonsense is being exposed - I jut hope we can get through this debacle without a recession or permanent damage - but that hope is fading.


Fading quicker by the moment. :up:

The only possible good that can come from this debacle, is for voters to take note once and for all, of the NDP's true colors, and keep that image permanently burned into their brains, to be used next time they stand in a voting booth.
Last edited by Urban Cowboy on Mar 8th, 2018, 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby Prestige Mike » Mar 8th, 2018, 12:04 pm

Are we happy to be the only province in Canada paying MSP premiums? It is incredibly inefficient to collect revenue for medical services this way. I think it makes sense to abolish the MSP premiums, but in doing so the money must come from somewhere. The NDP has chosen to acquire this revenue through a payroll tax. Is this the best way to make up for lost MSP premium revenue? Personally I don't know. Where should that money come from then? Or do you guys and gals think the BC government should keep collecting their $0-$75 per MSP premiums per month from most adults living in BC?
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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby gman313 » Mar 8th, 2018, 12:08 pm

Prestige Mike wrote:Are we happy to be the only province in Canada paying MSP premiums? It is incredibly inefficient to collect revenue for medical services this way. I think it makes sense to abolish the MSP premiums, but in doing so the money must come from somewhere. The NDP has chosen to acquire this revenue through a payroll tax. Is this the best way to make up for lost MSP premium revenue? Personally I don't know. Where should that money come from then? Or do you guys and gals think the BC government should keep collecting their $0-$75 per MSP premiums per month from most adults living in BC?


incorporate into taxes so it is based on income. plenty of people don't work in BC why should employers be on the hook for everyone! what about rich retired people? they can damn well pay

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Re: British Columbia's NDP Government: 2017

Postby rustled » Mar 8th, 2018, 12:14 pm

Prestige Mike wrote:Are we happy to be the only province in Canada paying MSP premiums? It is incredibly inefficient to collect revenue for medical services this way. I think it makes sense to abolish the MSP premiums, but in doing so the money must come from somewhere. The NDP has chosen to acquire this revenue through a payroll tax. Is this the best way to make up for lost MSP premium revenue? Personally I don't know. Where should that money come from then? Or do you guys and gals think the BC government should keep collecting their $0-$75 per MSP premiums per month from most adults living in BC?

I'd suggest most people are happy to see some changes around how we do MSP in BC. A payroll tax may be part of the solution.

This scheme has been sprung on employers the way the HST was sprung on the electorate by Campbell. It was sudden and unexpected. For many, it's coming in conjunction with large additional costs such as the bigger-than-usual minimum wage hikes. And there's the problem in 2019 of charging both the 50% MPS and the new payroll tax.

The complaint isn't strictly about using a payroll tax. The complaint is about the surprise and uncertainty, and the discussion is about fairness and unintended consequences. That discussion should have happened before the surprise announcement.

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