Most British Columbians approve of new provincial budget: poll
A new poll suggests most British Columbians are in favour of the plans outlined in the NDP’s 2018-19 provincial budget last week.
The province’s move to increase and expand the foreign buyers tax earned the highest marks from respondents.
According to the Insights West survey, 82 per cent of British Columbians said it was a "good idea" or "very good idea" to increase the tax from 15 to 20 per cent and to introduce it in areas outside Metro Vancouver such as Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna and the Fraser Valley.
A majority of people (77 per cent) were in favour of increasing the property transfer tax from 3 to 5 per cent for homes worth more than $3 million. And more than 80 per cent of those polled also agreed with the new 2-per-cent speculation on the assessed value of vacant homes whose owners don't pay income tax in B.C.
“In January, Insights West reported that concerns about housing, homelessness and poverty had jumped to the highest level recorded in the province over the past five years,” vice-president of public affairs, Mario Canseco, said in a statement.
“The budget proposals that deal with real estate are supported by a large majority of residents, and especially among those aged 35-to-54.”
The new budget passed by a margin of 44 to 41 in the legislature Thursday—a key accomplishment for Premier John Horgan's fragile minority NDP government.
While newly-elected Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson expressed concerns over the NDP's rate of spending, the poll suggests most British Columbians are in favour of some major investments that could help families.
At least three-in-five were in support of a new, income-based child care benefit worth up to $1,250 a month per child. That number was closer to 90 per cent among respondents with children under the age of six.
Other, smaller-ticket initiatives such eliminating Medical Services Plan fees by 2020, restoring the Monday to Thursday fare discount rate for seniors on BC Ferries and increasing taxes on luxury vehicles were also well-received.
Overall, roughly half of respondents gave the budget a moderate rating (between five and seven out of 10) and about as many people said it would be good for the province
Seventeen per cent gave the plan high grades between eight and 10, while 14 per cent issued a poor rating.