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Province takes aim at cost of living with 2% rent cap, increased tax benefits

75 per cent of B.C. families will receive larger financial boost, says finance minister
Premier John Horgan and Minister of Finance Selina Robinson at an announcement Sept. 7 in Langford on measures the government is taking to help British Columbians manage the high costs of living. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)

A two per cent rent increase cap for 2023 was one of the new measured announced with the goal of helping British Columbians navigate high costs of living.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement Wednesday (Sept. 7) alongside Minister of Finance Selina Robinson at Goudy Field in Langford. The pair also announced an increase in the Climate Action Tax Credit and BC Family Benefit (formerly called the Child Opportunity Benefit).

The climate tax credit for low- and medium-income families is set to be the first announcement to take effect – in October – with an increase of up to $164 per adult and $41 per child, thanks to a $500 million investment into the credit by the province.

The family benefit will see an increase of up to $58.33 per child for the months of January to March 2023, thanks to a $100 million investment.

The rent increase cap is being implemented as a replacement to the previous law, which allowed for an automatic two per cent rent increase in addition to an increase tied to inflation.

“Everyone is feeling the squeeze of global inflation, which is driving up the cost of groceries, gas, and other goods and services,” said Horgan. “With this new package, an average family of four will see $760 more next year than they would this year, a single parent with one child will see up to $500 in their pocket that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.”

Horgan also said a BC Hydro benefit is in the works, with an announcement to come later this year as more time is needed to develop the details given the organization’s regulated status and “significant profits made last year.”

When asked why the province decided against providing direct rebate checks to residents as some other provinces have, Horgan said the decision was made to target aid to those who need it most, rather than providing it to everyone, regardless of need.

Robinson added the vast majority of B.C. residents are set to benefit from the increases.

“These measures are really going to go a long way to help a lot of people,” said Robinson. “Eighty-five per cent of British Columbians will benefit from the Climate Action Tax Credit increase next month, and 75 per cent of families with children will receive more on their BC Family Benefit payments starting in January.”

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Justin Samanski-Langille

About the Author: Justin Samanski-Langille

I moved coast-to-coast to discover and share the stories of the West Shore, joining Black Press in 2021 after four years as a reporter in New Brunswick.
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