VICTORIA - Budget 2019 is creating opportunities for all British Columbians by delivering a new B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit for kids up to the age of 18, removing interest from B.C. student loans, reducing taxes for businesses, and investing in clean energy and climate solutions. Budget 2019 makes historic investments in people and balances the budget in all three years of the fiscal plan with surpluses of $274 million in 2019/20, $287 million in 2020/21, and $585 million in 2021/22. "People in B.C. struggled for too long because the old government made choices that helped the few at the top while everyone else fell further and further behind," said Carole James, Minister of Finance. "Budget 2019 opens doors for you and your family by putting thousands of dollars back into your pocket. We're helping hardworking British Columbians get ahead at every stage of their life, no matter where they're starting from." To make life more affordable for families and help every child reach their full potential, Budget 2019 introduces the B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit, directly returning nearly $400 million to British Columbian families raising children, starting October 2020. For a family's first child, the benefit is as high as $1,600 a year, increasing to $2,600 for two children and $3,400 for three children. Families will receive the B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit from the day their child is born until reaching 18 years of age. This benefit, along with the full elimination of Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums, will give middle-class families the largest reduction in their taxes in a generation: To help make sure young people are able to start their careers without being saddled with debt, Budget 2019 eliminates interest from all new and existing British Columbia student loans. As of today, all B.C. student loans will stop accumulating interest. This means an average graduate would save $2,300 in interest, based on a $28,000 combined federal and provincial loan with a 10-year repayment period. Budget 2019 deepens the Province's commitment to achieving true and lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, committing an estimated $3 billion over the next 25 years for the largest revenue-sharing agreement with First Nations in B.C.'s history. This year's budget moves forward with CleanBC by investing $902 million to make sure B.C. can meet its climate commitments and to protect our clean air, land and water. This important initiative was developed in consultation with the B.C. Green Party caucus as committed to in the Confidence and Supply Agreement. "British Columbia's economy is thriving with the strongest GDP and wage growth in Canada. It's clear that sharing the benefits of growth with all British Columbians results in a stronger economy," said James. "Together we are doing our part to fight climate change and build a British Columbia where everyone can enjoy a good life and secure future in the community they call home." To support British Columbia's long-term economic growth, government is investing $20 billion over three years to build the infrastructure B.C. needs to thrive, creating and supporting tens of thousands of good-paying jobs. Further, the Province is moving forward with more than $800 million in business tax reductions over the course of the fiscal plan to support investment in new plants, machinery and equipment, joining with the Government of Canada to boost our competitiveness. Budget 2019 continues to invest in better services for people, including improved health care, quality education and affordable, accessible child care. As priorities, the government is delivering more hospitals and shorter wait times, funding schools and thousands of new teachers, and continuing the path towards a universal made-in-B.C. child care program.

Quick Facts

Making life more affordable

Delivering better services for families

Investing in a strong, sustainable economy that works for people

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