British Columbia’s fifth consecutive balanced budget delivers the dividends of a strong and diversified economy and prudent fiscal management by cutting costs for middle-class B.C. families, like leaving nearly $1 billion more in the pockets of B.C. families by cutting Medical Services Plan (MSP).
Balanced Budget 2017 provides an additional $796 million over three years to support families, individuals and children most in need, including:
- $287 million over the next three years to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, of which $120 million is to begin addressing recommendations of the Grand Chief Ed John Report on Indigenous Child Welfare.
- $199 million to fund a $600 per year increase to income assistance rates for persons with disabilities.
- $175 million to provide income assistance supports for those in need, including $8 million to exempt additional child-related benefits, expected to help 600 families and 1,000 children.
- $135 million over three years for community living services, primarily via Community Living BC.
The Province continues to act to address housing supply and improve housing affordability for middle-class B.C. families. Government has committed $920 million to support the creation of over 5,300 affordable housing units. Leading up to Budget 2017, government committed an additional $65 million to fund another 380 affordable housing units to house the homeless and those with mental health or substance use issues. The BC HOME Partnership program, launched in January 2017, will provide more than $700 million in repayable down payment assistance over the next three years to help over 42,000 individuals and families get into the housing market for the first time.