B.C.’s provincial budget 2017 includes billions in infrastructure spending. The announcement demonstrates that the province’s commitment to balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility is paying dividends for British Columbians and for the construction industry.
A $24.5 billion investment in infrastructure will support more than 30,000 construction jobs across B.C. Investment in infrastructure over the next three years includes:
- $13.7 billion on hospitals ($2.7B), schools ($2.0B), post-secondary institutions ($2.6B), transportation ($4.5B) and BCH ($1.9B).
- $10.8 billion on power projects and other transportation projects.
“The message in this budget is clear – when governments save and spend responsibly they can cut taxes, invest in construction projects and support small businesses.” said Chris Gardner, president, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association.
“The government has rolled out an aggressive plan to build our province and to support families and small businesses.”
The construction sector in B.C. employs more than 200,000 people and continues to grow faster than the overall economy accounting for 8.5 per cent of the province’s GDP.
“Balancing over the past five years has given the government the flexibility to make investments that are creating jobs and driving a stronger economy,” stated Gardner.
The province is also putting money back into the pockets of taxpayers announcing a series of important tax cuts.
- Small business tax cut from 2.5 per cent to 2.0 percent – the second lowest in Canada.
- Elimination of the PST on electricity for businesses – starting October 1, 2017.
- A reduction in MSP premiums by 50 per cent will help families and small businesses.
“Now is the time to build – putting money back into the pockets of families and small business owners will reap strong benefits for the construction sector in B.C.,” said Gardner.
The B.C. government has also committed $920 million to support the creation of more than 5,300 affordable housing units.