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B.C. Liberals demand budget update as COVID-19 spending ramps up

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

The B.C. Liberals are demanding the NDP government provide a budget update amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says British Columbians deserve to know where additional spending has been going

The call comes ahead of lawmakers' return to the Legislature in Victoria next week

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The B.C. Liberals are calling for more fiscal transparency from the provincial government.

The opposition is demanding a budget update from the B.C. NDP, arguing it should be telling taxpayers where the $5 billion in additional COVID-19 spending has been going.

The Liberals argue this information is necessary as coronavirus-related spending ramps up.

“The NDP’s budget from earlier this year isn’t accurate anymore – people deserve the truth about this budget,” Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says. “The NDP added $5-billion in extra spending in April to deal with the pandemic. Where did that money go? As we continue to reopen, people need to know where and how their money is being spent by the NDP. We don’t need more surveys – we need more certainty and answers.”

Related article: Province extends ban on rent increases, will allow some evictions amid continuing health crisis

Wilkinson argues the NDP is likely getting regular updates — either weekly or daily — suggesting there’s no reason they can’t provide this information to the public.

“British Columbians shouldn’t have to wait to find out just how hard our economy has been hit by COVID-19 — we need to see the numbers now so we can plan accordingly before it’s too late to fully recover,” he adds.

The call comes ahead of lawmakers’ return to the Legislature in Victoria next week. It also comes the same day the New Democrats announced an extension to its rental supplement program.