Five main takeaways from B.C.’s 2024 budget


The B.C. NDP government’s provincial budget landed Thursday, just eight months before the scheduled provincial election.

Here are ‘Five Things to Know’ about the 2024 budget:

Limited new financial aid

Despite promises of cost-of-living assistance, the new budget offered few new aid programs, and those that were announced were relatively small. A 25 per cent boost to the existing BC Family Benefit could add $438 a year for a single parent, or $445 for the average family, and a new BC Hydro credit will deduct $100 off of electricity bills, on average, in a year.

Free IVF

A new provincial program will cover the cost of one round of in-vitro fertilization to help someone conceive a child. It could save a person as much as $20,000. However, only one round of IVF is covered and some people require more than one round to conceive.

New home flipping tax

Premier David Eby followed through with a 2020 promise to implement a tax on profits for anyone who buys and sells a residential property within two years. The tax starts in 2025 at 20 per cent of profits if a property is sold within a year, and on a sliding scale diminishes to zero at the end of the second year. There are exemptions for death, divorce, job loss and safety — as well as for people who build additional housing units (like a secondary suite) on a property.

Small business relief

The government raised the exemption threshold for its Employer Health Tax, meaning businesses with payrolls of up to $1 million no longer have to pay a tax of around three per cent. Business groups had been advocating for this move to help cash-strapped small businesses survive. As many as 9,000 businesses are expected to see tax relief. However, the province has doubled the tax rate to 5.9 per cent for businesses with payroll costs above $1.5 million.

Record deficit/debt

All the spending — including billions to hold the healthcare, education and mental health systems steady — will incur record deficits and debt. B.C. is on track to post a $7.91 billion deficit, more than double last year’s projection and, if it holds, the largest provincial deficit in history. Taxpayer-supported debt is forecast to $88.6 billion, more than double when the NDP took power in 2017.

READ MORE: Another deficit projected for B.C.’s 2024/25 budget

Rob ShawRob Shaw

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