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Premier Clark vows to balance 2013 budget
Speaking to a business crowd yesterday in Coquitlam, Premier Christy Clark delivered a bottom-line message, vowing to balance the provincial budget in 2013.
Clark made the announcement at a luncheon hosted by the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce as part of a speech in which she emphasized the need for government to keep the economy strong for the sake of working families.
“We have to make sure we respect taxpayers, and balancing the budget is the best way to do that because it ensures we take away as little as possible from families while ensuring we provide the services they need,” Clark said in a speech at the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club.
And while Clark cited results of her government’s BC Jobs Plan — 46,000 new jobs, 25% increased trade with China, $85-billion in infrastructure projects and Lower Mainland building permits back to 2007 levels — there was little information on what specific steps the BC Liberals would take to balance the budget. Indeed, she promised there would be no cuts to health care and education.
But the premier did emphasize a strong economy comes from a bustling private sector, encouraging entrepreneurism and keeping taxes low.
“I believe in getting government out of the way rather than putting government in the way,” she said.
She noted the government’s success in keeping labour costs down by keeping union wage increases to a minimum, adding it will “keep sticking to our guns to save taxpayers millions of dollars.”
“I will not leave a situation in our province where the interest on the debt continues to rise,” the premier said. “I will not reach into your pockets for more money because that just makes it harder for families.
“We can’t continue to tax, spend and borrow our way to prosperity. The era of big government is dead.”