Gordon Campbell announced a stimulus package today for the province. The live speech at 6:15pm had small businesses, consumers and industrial businesses rejoicing. The ten-point plan initiates some actions immediately. The plan includes:
1. Unlimited deposit protection for individuals with deposits in Credit Unions, raised from $100 000. I happened to be with the Senior Loans and Collections Manager of a major Credit Union at the time and he threw his hands up in the air. His scheduled meeting with a million-dollar member tomorrow who wishes to withdraw due to fear will definitely go over well now.
2. Better voluntary pension access for employers, employees and the self-employed, in the private sector.
3. A full 5% income tax cut, retroactive to January 2008. There was a 2% cut in Jan 2008 and a further 3% was to be cut in Jan 2009. This move immediately adds more money to people’s pockets.
4. A property tax cut for schools, light and heavy industrial. In combination with the low dollar, this should help curb an export crisis for BC’s backbone industries.
5. A small business tax cut of 2.5% on December 1, two years ahead of schedule.
6. Double the commission paid to businesses for collecting PST. A change hasn’t been seen in 14 years.
7. Fast-track capital spending on infrastructure to keep job-market strong.
8. Reducing ferry fares 33% from December to January. This is great for coastal communities and their economies.
9. Stay out of a deficit.
10. Legislation will be changed on November 20.
It’s clear, good ol’ Gordo sees the tough times ahead and is combating against a recession. Two thirds of the GDP relies on consumer spending. This plan stabilizes consumer confidence and helps ensure the velocity of money keeps moving. The economy is built on the framework where the hard-working are rewarded and people like Sean Orr are shafted, for their laziness. To the critics: is this not fair?
I’m not saying this plan is going to prevent any sort of slowdown – a slowdown is imminent, without question. People will lose jobs and the economy will slow substantially. However, by staying out of a deficit, BC will remain ahead of its counterparts and, hopefully, the momentum will be bolstered through the decade into the next boom.