Economic challenges of COVID-19 matched by strong supports for people
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on provincial revenues and unprecedented government spending on supports for people and businesses has led to an updated provincial deficit forecast of $12.8 billion for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
The deficit is on track with the Province’s July fiscal and economic scenario.
“The pandemic has threatened lives and livelihoods, and our government responded with one of the most supportive, comprehensive action plans in the country,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “Since the Province’s July fiscal and economic scenario, we have seen stronger than expected consumer spending, housing activity and employment gains. These gains are offset by increased prudence to help B.C. weather the long road ahead.”
The Province’s first quarterly report confirms revenue declines in taxation, natural resources and other sources that were anticipated in July. However, the overall impacts on revenues and expenses are lower, with a $5.7-billion decline from Budget 2020, compared to a $6.3-billion decline shown in the July scenario. Improvements from July’s update include better than expected employment gains, retail sales and housing activity, resulting in revenue gains in provincial sales tax, personal income tax and property transfer tax.
The updated deficit forecast includes a $1-billion forecast allowance as part of government’s commitment to economic prudence in response to the heightened uncertainty brought by COVID-19.
The first quarterly report also includes a summary of COVID-19 investments to date, with details of the $7.6 billion in COVID-19 response measures that have supported people and businesses since the beginning of the fiscal year.
The COVID-19 Action Plan has included supports such as workers benefits, rent supplements, income and disability assistance supports, and economic recovery funding. Another $1.8 billion in temporary relief measures for people and businesses include supports such as the Climate Action Tax Credit, pandemic pay for front-line workers and the reduction of school tax for commercial properties.
As part of the COVID-19 Action Plan, $1.5 billion has been earmarked for economic recovery measures to be announced in September.
To read B.C.’s First Quarterly Report, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/finances/reports/quarterly-reports
For information about BC’s Restart Plan, visit: http://gov.bc.ca/restartbc
To learn more about the supports and services available for people, businesses and communities through the pandemic, visit: gov.bc.ca/covid19
For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/
Or follow the BCCDC on Twitter: @CDCofBC
For the provincial health officer’s orders, notices and guidance, visit: gov.bc.ca/phoguidance
For non-health related information, including travel, transportation and essential service information, call (toll-free) 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week, or visit: gov.bc.ca/Covid19
A backgrounder follows.
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Fri, Jun 18, 2021 at 1:00 pm - Doug Smith posted on their blog: In the Cache Creek to Spences Bridge Hills
Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Sunrise Mountain Ramble – Kamloops Trails
Mon, Jun 14, 2021 at 4:05 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: For climate’s sake, save the peat!
Sat, Jun 12, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: On the Embleton Trails – Kamloops Trails
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Sun, Jun 6, 2021 at 8:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Lac du Bois Loop Route
Fri Jun 18 to Sat Jul 17 “Painting with Wax” by Judith Anderson in the KAC Main Gallery
Thu Jun 24 Artist Coffee – Virtual Meet Up
Thu Jul 1 to Tue Aug 31 Music in the Park
Wed Jul 14 Renovate Smart Kamloops Virtual Home Energy Performance Workshop
Thu Jul 29 Artist Coffee – Virtual Meet Up
Wed Aug 25 Renovate Smart Kamloops Virtual Home Energy Performance Workshop
Thu Aug 26 Artist Coffee – Virtual Meet Up
Sat Sep 11 to Sun Sep 12 Parkinson SuperWalk
Tue Sep 28 Renovate Smart Kamloops Virtual Home Energy Performance Workshop