The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services released its report Tuesday on the Budget 2012 consultations. The report summarizes the budget priorities of British Columbians who participated in the process, and contains 75 recommendations for next year’s provincial budget.
The recommendations are based on 15 public hearings held in communities across the province over a five-week period, including two videoconference hearings covering several additional communities. British Columbians also had the opportunity to make written and on-line survey submissions for the committee’s consideration.
“We heard about opportunities to help diversify our economy, spur development and job creation, as well as the need to protect program spending,” said committee chair Rob Howard.
To promote competitiveness, jobs and economic growth, the committee recommended streamlining permitting processes and regulations, bridging the skills gap; and investing in northern development.
For programs and spending priorities, the committee recommended maintaining health care, funding kindergarten to Grade 12 education, strengthening post-secondary education, resourcing community services and enhancing court services.
The committee’s recommendations regarding fiscal management included balancing the budget and protecting the province’s AAA credit rating.
The budget consultations are held annually as part of the committee’s mandate. Further information, as well as the committee’s report, is available online at http://www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/index.htm.