BC Election 2017: BC Greens and affordability in detail

Apr 19 2017, 9:55 pm

Ahead of the 2017 BC election, Daily Hive has produced a range of guides to the key issues affecting young voters. To find all the guides and our full BC Election coverage, click here: Battleground BC.

Vancouver is one of the least affordable places in the world, and the rest of BC is rapidly joining us. For many voters, affordability is the biggest issue in this year’s BC Election.

Of course, the three parties have their own strategies for making BC more affordable. Here’s what the BC Greens told Daily Hive about their plan.

“The BC Green Party will implement bold, progressive policies to help British Columbians struggling with the high cost of living.

“We will introduce a basic income pilot to test its ability to reduce poverty, and improve health, housing and employment outcomes.”

The BC Greens say the basic guaranteed income pilot would be used to conduct ongoing assessment of the concept, before a next phase is introduced.

According to their platform, the long-term plan is to use the basic income program to fill the gap between minimum wage and a liveable wage.

A liveable wage

In the meantime, the BC Greens plan to set up an arm’s-length fair wages commission to establish a new minimum wage, and oversee regular rate reviews.

The commission would also make recommendations on how to address the gap between minimum wages and liveable wages.

The BC Greens would also increase disability assistance, income assistance and shelter allowance rates, by 10% from October, then by 50% in 2020.

The party estimate those increases would cost $79 million in 2017/18, rising to $788 million in 2020/21.

No more MSP premiums

The BC Greens plan to roll Medical Service Plan premiums into payroll tax and personal income tax to make them more proportionate.

They will also combine the annual Working Income Tax Benefit and the quarterly Low-Income Climate Action Tax Credit into one monthly payment of up to $205/month.

Finally, the BC Greens would also provide basic income support for young people aging out of foster care, at an estimated cost of $60 million per year.

To find more guides to all the issues and our full BC Election coverage, click here: Battleground BC.

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Jenni SheppardJenni Sheppard

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