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Five-year income tax freeze, BC Liberals pledge in platform

Rising government debt and a potential windfall from liquified natural gas are the two big themes in the BC Liberal Party campaign platform released today, just as they have been election wedge issues repeatedly pushed by Premier Christy Clark in recent months.

"Does British Columbia keep moving forward, or do we risk slipping back to our darker past? That's the question that matters on May 14, 2013," according to the BC Liberal document.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong told reporters in Vancouver today that a BC Liberal government would:

• Freeze personal income taxes for the next five years -- and remove the two-year increase to the personal income tax rate for those earning in excess of $150,000 as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2016.

• Reduce B.C.'s Small Business Tax by 40 per cent and reduce corporate income tax rates to 10 per cent by 2018.

• Freeze the carbon tax for five years.

• Dedicate at least 50 per cent of future surplus revenues to debt reduction.

• Create the B.C. Prosperity Fund to capture revenues from LNG and the proposed Kitimat Clean Refinery and dedicate the money to debt reduction until the provincial debt is eliminated.

• Cap government spending increases to the growth of GDP.

The platform said that British Columbians earning up to $120,000 will pay the lowest income taxes in Canada.

More to come…

Tyee election reporting team member Doug Ward formerly reported for the Vancouver Sun.

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