CGA-BC Chair comments of the budget's new measures to support the housing sector
CGA-BC Chair Cindy Choi, FCGA, commends Minister Falcon for a budget that takes a disciplined approach but remains cautious about B.C.'s rising debt-to-GDP ratio.
VICTORIA, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - B.C. remains on track for a balanced
budget for 2013-14, but public debt continues to inch up, says Cindy
Choi, FCGA, the Chair of B.C.'s Certified General Accountants.
According to Minister of Finance Kevin Falcon, the province's
taxpayer-supported debt-to-GDP ratio will reach a high of 18.3 per cent
in 2014-15. "Despite this increase, B.C. should maintain its triple-A
credit rating. This disciplined approach puts us in good company with
the federal government, avoiding the financial crises of nations like
Greece, Ireland, and Portugal," says Choi.
A deficit of $2.5 billion is predicted for 2011-12, dropping to $968
million for 2012-13. Surpluses of $154 million in 2013-14 and $250
million in 2014-15 are expected as the global economy recovers.
The Association also cautioned that spending will increase to $43.9
billion in 2012-13, reaching $45 billion by 2014-15. "While many of
these increases are earmarked for health care and education, the
Association's hope was that the government would find places to reduce
expenditures in other areas by capping spending and finding new cost
savings and efficiencies until the economy fully recovers," says Choi.
While the Association applauds measures like the elimination of the
provincial jet fuel tax on international flights, it raises flags in
two areas. The small business corporate tax rate will not be reduced as
planned and will stay at 2.5 per cent. The caveat is that the rate will
be reviewed once the province passes through the current economic
The Minister is also calling for a provisional one-percentage point
increase in the general corporate income tax rate from 10 per cent to
11 per cent, effective April 1, 2014.
"While these increases are relatively minor, these are subtle changes to
the province's competitive position that could dampen economic growth
at this critical time," says Choi. "Bolder action in this area would
attract more investment, create new jobs and put additional money in
the pockets of British Columbians," Choi says.
The Minister also showed a good command of the economic levers that he
controls, offering a first-time home buyers' bonus of $10,000 which
will provide a temporary, refundable income tax credit for buyers
purchasing new homes. And increasing the BC New Housing Rebate
threshold for home purchases to $850,000 effective April 1, 2012, will
aid the housing industry. The maximum rebate will be $42,500.
As the province's largest professional accounting association, CGA-BC
represents nearly 15,000 CGAs and students. Members work in industry,
commerce, government and in public practice. The Association promotes
the excellence of its members and advances the accounting profession
through education, certification and the protection of the public
CGA-BC leads the profession in the integration of ethics into its
academic program, and all new graduates of the CGA program are required
to complete a rules and standards course to complement an ongoing
ethics requirement for members.
The Association also offers a wide range of employment services and
programs to its members, students and the business community. These
services include CGAjobs.org, a job postings website for finance and accounting professionals, and
the Partners in Employment Program (PEP), which recognizes
organizations that provide an effective working and training
environment for CGAs and CGA students.
Audio with caption: "CGA-BC Chair comments of the budget's new measures to support the housing sector
". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/02/21/20120221_C6183_AUDIO_EN_10288.mp3
Audio with caption: "CGA-BC Chair Cindy Choi, FCGA, commends Minister Falcon for a budget that takes a disciplined approach but remains cautious about B.C.'s rising debt-to-GDP ratio.". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/02/21/20120221_C6183_AUDIO_EN_10289.mp3
SOURCE Certified General Accountants Association of British Columbia
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