Photo: British Columbia Liberals
Provincial opposition says NDP speculation tax does “very little to make housing more affordable in British Columbia”
Responding to the latest government data released Monday, the BC Liberals say this shows the tax to be a “continuing failure,” costing British Columbians thousands of dollars while hiding community-specific data.
Housing critic Ben Stewart, MP for Kelowna West, says the tax not only fell short of its $ 200 million target, but the data shows the government is not reinvesting the revenues in the accommodation as he had promised.
“When the SVT was introduced, the NDP government promised that the money would be spent on new housing in the local communities where the tax was collected, but the data was hidden at the local level,” said Stewart.
He says local governments, including the two cities represented in his constituency, have asked how the revenues are shared.
He says that in the central Okanagan, only $ 2.6 million of the $ 4.1 million raised was spent on housing.
“In addition to mismanaging this tax, the NDP has done little to make housing more affordable for British Columbians as residential home prices in British Columbia continue to hit new highs.” said BC Liberal finance critic Mike Bernier.
“As the funds acquired through the speculation tax are not distributed fairly to communities and as housing continues to be increasingly inaccessible for so many people in our province, it is clear that the NDP is failing on this file. .
Bernier says average rents in Vancouver have increased by more than $ 2,000 a year since 2017 and, with a vacancy rate of 0.1%, the government’s housing record lacks valid foundation.