B.C. maintained budget surplus for 2017-18, despite increased spending

The B.C. government reduced its debt and achieved a balanced budget

British Columbia maintained its budget surplus in the last fiscal year even though it boosted spending on government programs by almost $3 billion and covered significant expenses from disastrous wildfires in 2017.

Finance Minister Carole James said the government reduced its debt and achieved a balanced budget despite historic losses at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

James said regardless of what it will cost to fight fires, there is money in the budget.

RELATED: Non-profits, schools get break on B.C. health payroll tax

The audited financial statements were released today, and showed an operating surplus of $301 million for 2017-18, which is $55 million higher than the surplus forecast in the budget update last fall.

Revenue was $571 million higher than the previous year, mostly due to increased federal transfers resulting from revised population estimates and higher taxation revenue.

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James said overall, the province is seeing long-term economic growth.

The Canadian Press

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