EDITORIAL: Where is the B.C. NDP’s promised rent rebate?

The contrast is stark — and painful for those already struggling to pay their monthly rent.

The provincial government has announced next year’s maximum allowable rent increase will be 4.5 per cent, the highest allowable hike in 15 years.

article continues below

No sooner had the news broke than many were asking Premier John Horgan about a pre-election promise that has yet to materialize — that $400 per year rent rebate he and the B.C. NDP dangled in front of voters in the May 2017 election campaign.

That rebate promise seems to have disappeared, though the cost of living is painfully evident in higher rent, higher property taxes, higher BC Hydro rates and higher ICBC premiums.

The maximum percentage increase allowed each year is the inflation rate plus two per cent. The inflation rate, calculated using the 12-month average percentage change in the consumer price index for B.C. ending in July, is 2.5 per cent.

Therefore, the maximum allowable increase for 2019 is 4.5 per cent.

That hike will create massive hardships to many people, whether they live in Vancouver or Kamloops.

Even in the comparably affordable Tournament Capital, rental rates are high; basement suites rarely go for less than $1,200 per month.

But this problem shouldn’t create an opening to punish landlords.

Their costs continue to rise, too, with property taxes, insurance and utility bills all increasing.

The B.C. NDP should start by fulfilling its campaign promise — or explain to us why it cannot be carried out.

There are encouraging signs on the horizon as Kamloops has seen more rental units under construction in the past few years than in the past decade.

From Sahali to North Shore, there will be more units for rent, which in theory should positively impact the bottom line on rental rates — but like that B.C. NDP promise, such a benefit needs to be seen to be believed.

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Kamloops This Week welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus
KTW Daily News Alerts
KAMLOOPS WEATHER

Question of the Week POLL

The city’s first public budget meeting is Nov. 28 on McArthur Island. Will you attend?

or  view results

Popular Kamloops This Week

Events Calendar