The BC Construction Monitor: Federal Election Issue
Federal #Elxn2015: Big Gains are at Risk
We’re in the home stretch of a long election campaign that three parties are in serious contention to win. In part, that’s no doubt due to the inherent appeal that “change” tends to have whenever a long-standing government asks for another term. But “change” to what? And at what risk to the many gains we’ve made over the past decade?
The Conservatives have a clear track record. They have delivered low taxes, a return to balanced budgets, strong infrastructure investment, and economic performance and job growth that’s the envy of many other countries. These are gains well worth protecting.
The Conservatives understand the value of leaving more money in the pockets of businesses and individuals. They respect the fact that each of us is best positioned to make our own decisions about the spending that we and our families will benefit from most. In contrast, the other parties offer top-down policies, suffocating tax hikes and questionable budgetary plans.
In BC, we have even more reason to be concerned with the prospect of a NDP government in Ottawa. When it was in power here in the 1990s, the party believed it could tax its way to prosperity. It took disposable income from families and pushed job creators out. BC had the highest unemployment rate in Western Canada and became a have-not province. And this is part of the provincial NDP track record that its federal leader says he’s proud of.
It’s also noteworthy that BC is a battleground region in this campaign. Many results here could turn on very narrow margins, and the entire election will probably be won or lost based on the BC seat count. So will it be change – or a steady course designed to maintain and grow upon the gains we’ve made?
That’s the decision we all have to make on October 19. Click here for a downloadable version of this issue of The BC Construction Monitor.
More money in your pocket
Individuals are paying less tax now, with low-income earners getting the biggest break
The Conservatives have lowered taxes every year while in office, with more than 180 relief measures since 2006. Their plan includes further reductions, while the opposition parties would roll back popular measures such as tax-free savings accounts and income splitting, and would boost payroll taxes. The NDP will also boost the general corporate tax rate by a substantial 13 per cent, with this move alone taking $3.7 billion out of the economy and away from job creation.
Business tax bills have also dropped – leaving more money available for growth and new hiring – and the Conservative platform promises more relief ahead
Living within our means
Following several years of recovery from the 2007/08 global financial crisis, the federal budget returned to surplus a full year ahead of schedule in 2014/15, and the Conservative government has a plan to keep it in the black. The NDP – in a pledge that “does not appear to be arithmetic
ally credible” according to one national newspaper – now says it will balance the budget too. The Liberals plan for multi-year deficits – deferred taxes that we or our children will eventually have to pay – and will repeal balanced-budget legislation.
Responsible Infrastructure Investment
Well-planned public infrastructure spending remains vital in BC and across Canada, and will provide significant construction work. The Conservatives have greatly increased infrastructure investment while in office. Both opposition parties are promising even higher spending, with the Liberals’ expensive deficit-based plan including a near doubling to almost $125 billion over 10 years.
Canada has the lowest net-debt-to-GDP ratio among G7 countries
The Conservative government has had a steady hand on economic management.
Despite global turbulence, our economy has grown while the Conservatives have been in office. That’s good for businesses and good for people, in part because it means more jobs are available. And at the same time, our debt has been kept low and our federal budget balanced.
Click here for a downloadable version of this issue of The BC Construction Monitor.