Crown Corporation Customers Pay for Tax Breaks for the Rich

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

VICTORIA – The BC Government surpluses are built by overcharging customers through Crown corporations, while the richest British Columbians are getting a break from the government, says the union representing workers at ICBC and BC Hydro.

The Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378 (MoveUP) says the current and projected surpluses are made possible by payments into provincial coffers by ICBC and BC Hydro.

“BC Hydro rates are spiking upwards, and our utility is straining under deferred debt and costs for capital projects,” said MoveUP President David Black. “Instead of claiming BC Hydro revenue as a politically convenient surplus, Christy Clark and Mike De Jong should be offering ratepayers some margin of relief and ensuring our Crown utility is on secure financial footing for the future.”

“And while Minister de Jong is praising ICBC’s investments, he’s holding on to most of that money. He won’t let drivers share in ICBC’s good fortune,” Black continued. “Insurance premiums are too high and drivers should be paying less.”  

The provincial government is taking $160 million out of ICBC each year for the next three years, which represents 70 per cent of ICBC’s estimated income. BC Hydro is paying up to 52 per cent of its net income into provincial coffers for the next three years: $500 million for 2014/15, $555 million for 2015/16 and $589 for 2016/17.

 

Dividends from ICBC

Dividends from BC Hydro

ICBC & BC Hydro total dividends

Surplus

2014/15

$160

$306

$466

$879

2015/16

$160

$340

$500

$284

2016/17

$160

$360

$520

$376

Total

$480

$1006

$1486

$1539

Numbers in millions. Source: 2015 Budget & Fiscal Plan, p 14 and p 118.

BC Hydro revenue is projected to grow by 22 per cent over the next four years, in part due to the rate hikes imposed on families. 

Hydro and ICBC costs are hitting all homes, regardless of income, but only individuals earning over $150,000 a year are getting a two per cent tax break.

“Almost everyone in B.C. is paying the government more through ICBC premiums and Hydro rates,” said MoveUP President David Black. “But the richest in B.C. are getting a big break from the BC Liberals on the taxes. The government should balance the books fairly, not by hitting average families.”

MoveUP represents 12,000 people working in the public and private utilities, insurance, finance and other sectors.

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Media Contact:

Sage Aaron, Communications Director

604.317.6153

saaron@moveuptogether.ca

 

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