As global inflation continues to increase spending, families and small businesses in British Columbia. This fall, they will receive a one-time living wage payment into their BC Hydro account, and in January they will receive a new loan commission from BC.
“The people and small businesses of British Columbia are feeling the pressure of global inflation,” said Premier David Eby. “This is the time when the people need their government to continue to support them. That’s why we’re focused on helping people who have been hit hardest by the surge in spending we’re seeing around the world by giving people a little extra credit, especially at a time of year when the spending can skyrocket.”
BC Hydro bill offset will be provided to all eligible residential and commercial electricity customers, including those who receive electricity from FortisBC or the municipal utility.
A one-time $100 living wage credit is about one month of electricity for a family living in a detached home, or more than two months of electricity for a family living in an apartment.
Business taxpayers, including small and medium-sized businesses such as restaurants and tour operators, will receive an average one-time credit of $500. The exact amount depends on your electricity use in the previous year.
The Living Wage Credit will help offset household spending in the coming months, when bills typically start to rise due to increased energy use due to cooler weather.
BC Hydro may provide a cost of living loan due to market conditions that have led to an increase in business and household income. It will be automatically applied to electricity bills.
BC Hydro customers will receive the credit in early December. City utility and FortisBC customers are likely to see their account credits applied early in the new year.
Eligible individuals and families will automatically receive the new BC Affordability Credit through the Canada Revenue Agency, just like the Enhanced Climate Change Tax Credit received in October. An eligible individual with income up to $36,901 will receive the maximum BC Affordability Credit with a total phased-in loan payment of $79,376. An eligible family of four with a household income of $43,051 will receive the maximum amount, with the loan fully repaid at $150,051.
This additional support means that a family of four can receive up to $410 in early January 2023 to help offset additional expenses.
“Look for a new affordable BC loan in your bank account in January 2023,” Eby said. “We know this won’t cover all the bills, but we hope it will help people a little more this winter.”
Bruce Ralston, Minister for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation –
“Many people are struggling to manage their spending in the face of rising prices for food, fuel and other goods and services on which they depend. This BC Hydro cost of living loan will help offset B.C. homes and businesses.
Selina Robinson, Secretary of the Treasury –
“These loans are the next steps in a series of specific cost-of-living measures that we’re using to put money in the pockets of the people who need it most right now. We will continue to invest in ways to lower costs for people, improve the services people trust, and create a B.C. stronger. for all.”
Diana Gibson, Executive Director, Community Social Planning Council —
“We know that not everyone is equally affected by this pressure on the cost of living. BC’s new Cost of Living Loan for low- and middle-income individuals and families suffering the most from inflation here at home is the right way to go.”
Pierre Angelblaser, student at the University of Victoria —
“Lately friends and classmates have been having a great time at the grocery store and it has added a lot of stress as we all try to navigate school, study, work and plan for the week ahead. It’s a great relief when we have a little extra money. We can focus on our studies instead of worrying about finding enough money for our next trip to the supermarket.”
BC Hydro rates have decreased 1.4% since April 1, 2022.
Other temporary cost-of-living supports introduced this year include:
ICBC discount in summer;
the Expanded Climate Change Tax Credit in October, which provided an additional $410 for a family with two children;
increased BC Family Allowance payments in January, February and March 2023, with the Family Allowance increasing by $58.33 per child per month, meaning a family with two children will receive up to $350 of this supplement; as much as
limit income growth below inflation to 2% by 2023.
Beginning in December 2022, British Columbia parents will save up to an additional $550 per month for each child they keep in participating licensed child care centers.