Kyllo praises B.C. budget changes

Province: Opposition raps the creation of ‘slush fund,’ restructuring of MSP.

Shuswap’s MLA says prudent financial planning will benefit necessary social services.

The provincial government introduced its latest budget in the Legislature Tuesday.

“B.C. should be proud of the performance of the economy,” said Greg Kyllo.

“Now we are able to show some heart and provide funding for services.”

The budget calls for $673 million in additional support for children, families and individuals  in need over three years, including $217 million for the Ministry of Children and Family Development to support vulnerable youth and their  families, and $456 million for the Ministry of Social Development and to support those in need and to increase monthly  disability income assistance rates.

However, the official opposition is not impressed with the budget.

“The premier could have made this budget about tax fairness, but she chose to just tinker around the edges of the MSP tax, which amounts to little more than a shell game,” said John Horgan, NDP leader, in a release.

“This is not a budget for B.C. families. This budget continues the billion-dollar tax break for millionaires, and dings everyone else so Christy Clark can make a deposit to her slush fund to pay for her photo-ops.”

The budget calls for a Prosperity Fund, but Horgan says 25 per cent of it will be for core government priorities and that, “looks like code for a slush fund.”

Kyllo, though, defends the changes to MSP, and says a single parent with two children will save between $840 and $1,200 a year.

“That’s a considerable amount of money.”

Kyllo also welcomes the budget’s focus on community infrastructure.

“There are additional dollars set aside for flood mitigation. We have to look at some of the challenges in the Shuswap with the spring freshet (runoff),” he said.