Millions of British Columbians will benefit from new measures to help people with the high cost of living caused by global inflation.
“Everyone is feeling the squeeze of global inflation, which is driving up the cost of groceries, gas, and other goods and services,” said Premier John Horgan. “Our next support measures will help bring down costs for renters, put money back into people’s pockets and offer families a cushion during challenging times.”
The Province is increasing the next Climate Action Tax Credit payment, boosting the BC Family Benefit and capping rent increases below inflation, a package estimated to be worth up to $1,500 for a family of four.
“People with lower incomes and people raising children are the most affected by the cost increases we’re seeing around the world,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “These measures are our next steps in helping to support those who need it most.”
Affordability measures include:
- In October 2022, the maximum amount for the Climate Action Tax Credit for low- and moderate-income British Columbians will be enhanced by up to an additional $164 per adult and $41 per child. This means a family with two children can receive up to an additional $410.
- In January, February and March 2023, the BC Family Benefit will rise by as much as $58.33 per child, for each month. A family with two children will receive up to $350 from this top-up.
- Instead of allowing rent increases equivalent to inflation, government is placing a 2% cap on rent increases for 2023. For a renter paying $2,000 in rent, this will mean saving up to $816 next year.
“Our government has saved families thousands of dollars by capping rent increases to inflation by eliminating the old government’s automatic 2% rent increase on top of inflation,” said Murray Rankin, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “But right now, Canada is seeing the highest levels of inflation in decades – especially when it comes to housing costs. By setting the maximum annual allowable rent increase for 2023 at 2%, we’re helping renters keep more money in their pocket. We also recognize that landlords are facing the same inflationary pressure, and we are committed to ensuring that landlords can make the necessary repairs and upgrades to their rental units so they can provide housing for years to come.”
Government is also working with BC Hydro on an additional cost-of-living measure to help B.C. residents reduce expenses during this period of high global inflation.
- No one needs to apply for the enhanced Climate Action Tax Credit and BC Family Benefit.
- The temporary increases will be automatically received if income tax filing is up to date.
- These measures build on actions taken to reduce costs, save people money and build a stronger B.C.
- Since 2017, the B.C. government has worked to significantly reduce child care and car insurance rates, help families with the cost of school meals and supplies, deliver free transit for children, increase the minimum wage and income and disability assistance rates, and eliminated people’s medical services premiums.
For information on new and existing support measures for B.C. residents, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/affordability/family-benefit
A backgrounder follows.