BC ends 2016-17 fiscal year with $2.7 billion surplus

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 23, 2017

James says the accounts also show a $591-million increase in overall debt.

Finance Minister Carole James touted BC's strong economy this morning as she discussed the release of the province's public accounts.

The New Democrats say they'll spend more on programs to make life more affordable, after releasing public accounts showing the Liberal government banked a $2.74-billion surplus in the last fiscal year. James says the province can't rely exclusively on those.

"That's part of my mandate letter and it will be part of the budget that'll come forward in September", she said.

"A budget and a surplus belong to the people of British Columbia. It's really tough for people out there to see a surplus this size, when they're struggling day to day to manage".

A 15 per cent tax on foreign home-buyers brought in last August in Metro Vancouver collected $102 million in revenue to the end of 2016, James said, adding she couldn't say whether the NDP would expand it to other hot real estate markets, including Vancouver Island.

The B.C. government ended the 2016-17 fiscal year with an operating surplus of $2.7 billion, about the same amount the former Liberal government announced in an unaudited fiscal update released in June. "Following the requirements of the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, the surplus is applied to the provincial operating debt".

This surplus is largely a result of an unexpected $2.8 billion increase in tax revenue, including $1.5 billion from personal income tax revenue.

The province's GDP grew by an estimated 3.7 per cent in 2016 and James said private-sector forecasts expect B.C.to be among the top provincial economic performers this year and in 2018.

James says the government will present a "budget" update on September 11 and is promising a balanced budget. "This should not be a one-time spending spree that government can never afford again. We need to see a plan to sustain revenues", she said in a statement.

Auditor general Carol Bellringer noted three concerns in the public accounts, two involving the self-supporting Transportation Investment Corporation, which is responsible for the Port Mann Bridge and the George Massey Tunnel replacement project. "I'm very cautious going ahead", James said Tuesday.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE