BC Liberals focus on tolls, tax credits in election platform

BC Liberals focus on tolls, tax credits in election platform

The B.C. Liberal's have released the party's platform in advance of Tuesday's official provincial election kick-off. 

The party is estimating the new promises — including putting a cap on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridge tolls — will cost an additional $157 million by 2019/20.

"The foundation of our plan is controlling government spending and cutting taxes for the middle class to create jobs and grow the economy," said Clark in a letter to voters. 

Senior tax credit and respite credit 

The BC Liberals are also proposing an 'active senior' tax credit and a 'respite' tax credit. 

The active senior tax credit will provide a credit for up to $500 a year on things like gym memberships and yoga classes for British Columbians over the age of 65. The B.C. Liberals forecast this will cost $2.5 million a year. 

The respite credit will allow British Columbians to receive a credit for hiring help — up to $2,500 a year — to give them a break from caring for elderly parents and loved ones with disabilities. The party forecasts the respite credit will cost about $5 million a year. 

Ferries loyalty discount 

The B.C. Liberals are also promising a loyalty discount program by 2020 for BC Ferries users. Until the program is up and running, the party is planning a new tax deduction for residents of ferry-dependent communities. 

Those individuals will be able to deduct 25 per cent of the value of their ferry fares, up to a maximum amount of $1,000, from their net tax payable to the Province.

"Island and coastal residents make huge contributions to our province, and we're excited to make life a little easier for those who count on ferries to get around," said Stephen Roberts, BC Liberal candidate in Saanich North and the Islands. 

Tolls

Included in the platform is the party's promise to cap Metro Vancouver toll crossings at $500 per vehicle per year.

The party says the toll cap will cost an estimated $30 million in the 2018/19 fiscal year, and an additional $30 million after that. The platform only provides financial forecasts for a three year period.