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Liberals ‘suspend’ tax cut

The B.C. Liberal cabinet nixed a 15 per cent personal income tax cut yesterday that was promised only three weeks ago by outgoing premier Gordon Campbell.

The B.C. Liberal cabinet nixed a 15 per cent personal income tax cut yesterday that was promised only three weeks ago by outgoing premier Gordon Campbell.

The tax cut, which was to have taken effect on Jan. 1 on earnings up to $72,293, was announced last month during the premier’s televised address.

It was delivered at a time when the Campbell’s popularity was at an all-time low and did little to improve his status.

He has since announced his resignation.

The executive council’s decision to “suspend” the tax cut will ensure maximum flexibility to set the economic and fiscal agenda, said Campbell in a release.

Cabinet, he added, did not want to be hampered by decisions that could unnecessarily limit the ability to set priorities.

The tax cut was projected to reduce provincial revenue by about $600 million.

The suspension came on a wild day in B.C. politics that saw Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett punted from cabinet. The former energy minister, who had called on Campbell to step down immediately, accused the premier of being abusive, driving female cabinet ministers from politics and even spitting in his face during a confrontation.

The cabinet also announced yesterday that the 2011 throne speech would occur Feb. 14 and outline the plan for a transition period until a new premier is sworn in. A “status quo” budget with no new initiatives is to be tabled the next day.

 
 
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