The Liberals are trumpeting their managing of the economy. They say the cuts they made are paying off and now they have balanced the books they can start spending. In 1996 the Campbell Liberals said "They're shovelling money off the back of a truck" referring to then Premier Glen Clark. Today the Liberals who said they would not do this, have done it, another broken promise, although in the Heartlands we are getting used to Campbell and his silent MLA's breaking promises.
"Call me a skeptic, but I don't think that any decisions made in Victoria have ever had a long-term impact on the world price of energy. Energy revenues and Ottawa's generosity have given Campbell ample reason to shovel money off the back of a truck, because he doesn't have to take the money out of future budgets or risk a raft of debt.
That's the difference between Clark in '96 and Campbell today: as long as the price of oil keeps kissing $60 a barrel, the good times will be rolling for whoever is running BC with the possible exception of the Greens." -
by Ian King, Ballotbox Bulldog, April 7, 2005
Ballotbox Bulldog points out in his column that the three biggest gains in the budget success have been the result of things beyond the Liberal government's control or any government for that matter. Oil and Gas royalties are sky high. The other primary source for funding is the Federal government. Health care received 100's of millions of additional dollars that was not there before. The federal government revamped the equalization program and that saw BC get almost one billion dollars this year.
Take out the additional federal government revenue sent to BC and you see that the BC budget would have just barely been balanced this year. Now if oil was selling for $35 a barrel rather than the $55 a barrel the provincial government would have run a deficit. Don't forget that the province has also reaped additional profits as the price of gas at the pump goes up. One more thing that is helping is the 3.5 cents per litre transportation tax the Campbell Liberals brought in a couple of years ago.
Remember that dreaded 1% property tax that is charged when property changes hands. With housing costs skyrocketing in the last three years due to low interest rates, the government is pulling in 400% more, again, nothing to do with the Liberals other than another broken promise. They said in opposition the tax was unfair. (The tax was brought in by the Bill Vanderzalm government)
Campbell also promised not to expand gaming in BC. While that promise disappeared faster than any slot machine can take your money. Gaming revenues are climbing at exceptional rates, expect the government to continue to expand gaming.
Broken Promises and the gull to take credit for things beyond his control. Campbell does not deserve a second term, but it looks like he will have fooled enough people to pull it off again.