VICTORIA, BC, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Finance Minister Michael de Jong has marked the government's return to fiscal discipline with a balanced budget and a $197 million surplus for 2013-14, Candace Nancke, FCGA, Chair of the Certified General Accountants Association of B.C. said today.
"Families and small businesses have to show that discipline and live within their means every day. And government should be no different," Nancke said. "The minister has achieved this through a combination of spending cuts, the sale of some surplus properties and modest tax increases," Nancke said. "We like this direction as it shows willingness by government to say 'no' and limit spending increases and recognizes that the province must stay on track for the future." Surpluses of $211 million are expected in 2014-15 and $460 million in 2015-16.
Nancke said that good debt management remains high on the government's radar. Taxpayer-supported debt is forecast to be $42.6 billion in 2013-14 and will reach $46.1 billion in 2015-16. While the Association has expressed concern about rising debt levels it recognizes that B.C.'s debt-to-GDP ratio at 18.3 per cent in 2014-15 remains relatively low compared to provinces such as Ontario and Quebec which have much higher debt-to-GDP levels.
Other changes include:
- Increasing the general corporate income tax rate to 11 per cent from the current 10 per cent as of April 1, 2013. While the tax rate remains the third lowest in Canada (after Alberta and New Brunswick), the Association has cautioned in the past that even minor increases to tax rates can affect the province's competitive position. This could reduce economic growth at this critical time.
- A temporary two-year increase in the personal income tax rate to 16.8 per cent from 14.7 per cent for individuals earning more than $150,000 starting January 1, 2014. While these increases are not always welcome, they will help boost revenues ensuring good fiscal management.
- Addressing the sometimes contentious carbon tax and its impact on farmers by providing a carbon tax exemption for the same coloured motor fuels and $20 million to provide relief for commercial greenhouse operators.
CGA-BC represents almost 11,000 CGAs and nearly 5,000 CGA students in the province of British Columbia. Our members provide financial management and accounting services to small and medium-sized businesses across the province and occupy financial management and leadership positions in the public and private sector.
Audio with caption: "Candace Nancke Chair of the Certified General Accountants Association of B.C. speaking about today's BC Provincial budget". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/02/19/20130219_C6844_AUDIO_EN_23851.mp3
Audio with caption: "Candace Nancke Chair of the Certified General Accountants Association outlined some other highlights from today's budget.". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/02/19/20130219_C6844_AUDIO_EN_23852.mp3
SOURCE: Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia
For further information:
Edward Downing, Director of Communications
Cell: (778) 838-6334