B.C. Liberals announce provincial budget

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VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. Liberals have announced a new budget, and while it is being lauded by small businesses, labor groups and social activists are up in arms.

Despite Premier Gordon Campbell’s election promise that taxes would not be raised without a referendum, a one-half per cent increase to the provincial sales tax was announced.

While this angers many businesses, the small business threshold has been raised from $200,000 to $300,000, delighting companies that previously had to pay higher taxes while still considering themselves to be small businesses.

Despite dramatic cost-cutting measures, the provincial debt is expected to reach a record $4.4 billion.

Less money will be spent on the province’s highways and other infrastructure projects, according to the latest budget. Crown corporations such as B.C. Rail, B.C. Ferries and the Insurance Corp. of B.C. will also have less money to work with, unless they can find ways of generating it themselves.

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