Budget 2016 Consultations
By remaining committed to balanced budgets and strong expenditure management, the B.C. government continues to demonstrate fiscal sustainability despite ongoing global economic uncertainty. British Columbia was one of three Canadian provinces to produce a modest surplus for 2014-2015 and we’re projecting surpluses in all three years of the fiscal plan.
Global and domestic economic uncertainty remains a very real challenge, which is why B.C. remains focused on its strategy to reduce debt and borrowing costs while supporting British Columbia’s AAA credit rating. Taxpayer-supported debt for 2015-2016 is projected to be $857 million lower than forecast at Budget 2015 and we’re forecasting a complete elimination of the direct operating debt by 2019-2020 – an accomplishment not seen in this province since 1975-1976.
The budget consultation is a chance for British Columbians to share their priorities ahead of Balanced Budget 2016. We want your input and ideas to help shape the strategies government can employ to improve program delivery and services within the context of a balanced budget. As part of this process, we have released the Budget 2016 Consultation Paper (PDF).
The consultation paper asks British Columbians to share their thoughts on how surplus dollars should be prioritized. It seeks input on how government can continue its work to support job-creating industries and make our businesses more competitive, as well as addressing housing affordability for families and those seeking to get into the market for the first time.
The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services – an all-party committee of the Legislative Assembly – will hold province-wide consultations in September and October to seek the views of British Columbians. We hope to see you there.
For more information, please visit the Committee’s website at www.leg.bc.ca/budgetconsultations
Thank you for participating in the process. I look forward to hearing your ideas.
Michael de Jong
Minister of Finance