Editorial: Budgets bring out opinions in everyone

Even governments have to pay for essentials first

It’s budget time in the world of politics, with both provincial and federal budgets coming down in the past few days.

And everyone – people on the street, politicians, chambers of commerce, think tanks on the right and left, and more – has an opinion on how the money should be spent, and what mistakes whichever political party is handing down this year’s budget made.

And most of the talk adds up to zero. As we saw in the provincial budget, political ideology and election promises can only play a limited role in financial planning for entities as large as provinces or countries.

Before you can ever get to those political ideals, there are the basic costs of running a province that have to be taken care of: schools, highways and more, not to mention the cost of running the government itself. Then, there are market forces to consider. What’s needed to keep the economy growing, or at least not slipping into the red ink?

So if you were expecting the B.C. NDP budget to sweep away tolls on bridges and the like, that was never in the cards; that income is too important for funding not only road maintenance but other needed projects.

Many years ago, when the Coquihalla was built, the expectation was the newly-introduced toll would be removed when the construction costs were covered. That happened when the bill was paid in 2008, but it wasn’t without a lot of public pressure on the Gordon Campbell-led Liberal government of the day.

No matter their political stripe, any government has to answer some basic needs when preparing a budget, not unlike your own personal planning: keep the money flowing in, pay for the essentials first, prioritize new spending. What’s needed most, affordable housing or daycare?

Luxuries, the category where most political ideals and election promises fall, come last.

– Black Press

Just Posted

Valley company reaching out to women near and far

Three Comox Valley business women know firsthand what good menstrual products can… Continue reading

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Miniature horses visit Glacier View residents

Glacier View Lodge residents had a couple of special visitors on Wednesday… Continue reading

Annual women’s march in Courtenay Saturday

The Women’s March was a worldwide protest on Jan. 21, 2017, to… Continue reading

Portables arrive for students on Hornby Island

Five portable classrooms have officially arrived on Hornby Island this week in… Continue reading

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan talks forest policy at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Most Read