(Files from Brendan Pawliw, MyPGNow.com)
B.C. Premier John Horgan has announced a $5-billion dollar action plan, including $2.8-billion for people and services and $2.2-billion for businesses and recovery going forward.
“The first steps we are going to focus on with the action plan is making sure that critical services for health care will be there now and direct financial support for people along with the deferment of payments,” Horgan said Monday afternoon.
“People need help now, businesses need help now and that’s why we are focusing on announcing our action plan for the economy, $2.8-billion dollars will be focused on people while the rest will be for businesses and the recovery process going forward.”
The action plan is focusing on three areas: protecting the safety and health of B.C. citizens, providing immediate relief for people and businesses, and laying the foundation for the province’s economic recovery.
The package includes support for renters to make sure no one will be evicted.
“No one will be evicted because of COVID-19…No worker will lose their job for self-isolating or helping a loved one,” Horgan said.
In addition, Finance Minister, Carole James announced that students will get some much-needed relief.
“All student loan payments, which are already interest-free will be paused until September 30th so that people can be better able to care for themselves.”
James also had a simple message for businesses.
“I want businesses to know that we are here to support you as we get on the path to recovery,” she said. “To reduce the pressure on businesses we will be deferring many of the tax filing and payment deadlines to September 30th.”
This includes payment of the provincial sales tax, carbon tax, and the employer’s health tax.
An emergency benefit for workers will provide a one-time tax-free $1,000 payment for B.C. residents who are not able to work because of the coronavirus.
The province is exploring expanding a financial supplement for seniors.