BC Finance Minister Michael de-Jong delivered a fifth consecutive balanced budget for 2017 in the Victoria legislature today.

He says the Province has made a record breaking number in infrastructure to support services and jobs.

“The 3-year fiscal plan includes taxpayers supported capital spending in the amount of $13.7 billion dollars, the highest level ever reflecting investments in roads, schools, hospitals, and public safety.”

de-Jong also announced the government in 2018 will cut the MSP Premiums in half for adults making between $26,000 -$120,000 a year.

Families with net incomes of less than $35,000 will see their premiums eliminated entirely.

Other highlights of the 2017 Budget include:

* $287 million over the next three years to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, of which $120 million is to begin addressing recommendations of the Grand Chief Ed John Report on Indigenous Child Welfare.

* $199 million to fund a $600 per year increase to income assistance rates for persons with disabilities.

* $175 million to provide income assistance supports for those in need, including $8 million to exempt additional child-related benefits, expected to help 600 families and 1,000 children.

* $135 million over three years for community living services, primarily via Community Living BC.* Eliminating PST on electricity over the coming two years – saving small, medium, large and industrial businesses throughout the province $164 million by 2019-20, which further encourages

* Eliminating PST on electricity over the coming two years – saving small, medium, large and industrial businesses throughout the province $164 million by 2019-20

* Extending and enhancing sector tax credits for tech, Scientific Research and Experimental Development, venture capital to support innovation, commercialization and the tech sector.

Government is forecasting modest surpluses in all three years of the fiscal plan. By the end of 2019-20, the direct operating debt, forecast at $1.1 billion, will be 90% lower than the $10.2 billion in 2013-14.