Finance Minister Mike de Jong says B.C. may be the only province in Canada to balance its budget for the year ahead.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus funds low-income assistance

B.C. government ends child support clawback for welfare recipients, puts more money into Community Living B.C.

VICTORIA – Expecting budget surpluses for the next three years, the B.C. government is ending the deduction of spousal child support from social assistance payments and providing modest benefits for other low-income earners.

A target of single parents and poverty advocacy organizations in recent years, the “clawback” of child support payments ends Sept. 1. That is expected to leave about $32 million more over the next three years in the pockets of the parents who receive child support along with income assistance and disability payments, a benefit to 3,200 families and 5,400 children.

Community Living B.C., responsible for developmentally disabled adults, gets an additional $106 million over three years, and $20 million is added to the general budget for income assistance. Caseloads for both are expected to increase and individual payment rates stay the same.

This is also the budget that ends a two-year increase of 2.1 per cent in tax on income more than $150,000 a year. The provincial income tax rate for that tax bracket returns to 14.7 per cent, which de Jong said is part of the lowest personal income tax rates in the country.

At the low end of the income scale, the exemption from paying any personal income tax goes to the first $19,000 earned, up from $18,000.

An early childhood tax benefit begins April 1, with up to $660 a year for each child up to the age of six, designed to assist with child care costs.

This is also the year the province’s training and education savings grant begins to be paid out for children who reach six years old. It is a one-time payment of $1,200 born since Jan. 1, 2007, to be placed in a registered education savings plan.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the current fiscal year is expected to finish with a surplus of almost $900 million, due mainly to better than expected personal and corporate income tax revenues, strong retail sales and a one-time adjustment of federal tax payments.

After an additional $3 billion to the ever-growing health care budget and $576 million more for education over the next three years, the surplus for 2015-16 is projected to be $284 million.

VIDEO: Education funding increased for 2015-2018 budgets

Just Posted

RCMP renew request for help finding missing Nakusp man

Christopher Sanford was reported missing Aug. 5

Mishap with deer sends biker to hospital

Accident Thursday morning near Slocan Park

Car rolls down Nelson highway embankment, driver injured

Vehicle landed beside the Rosemont pedestrian trail

Pregnant Kootenay teachers fight to change compensation rules

Risk to unborn babies not recognized by WorkSafeBC

PLACE NAMES: Salmo and Slocan neighbourhoods

An an 1897 plan called for Salmo streets named Lincoln and Washington plus a Victoria Square

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Scene it? Castlegar New’s weekly photo contest

Take a guess in our weekly guess-the-location photo contest.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read