Newly appointed BC Auditor General Michael Pickup (Photo supplied by BC Attorney General's Office)
BC Auditor General Michael Pickup unveiled his initial report since taking office, Summary of COVID-19 Pandemic Funding Allocations, and Other Financial Relief Measures.
It is based on a summary of funds announced by the government as part of its response to the pandemic.
It includes funding allocations under the $5-billion Pandemic Contingencies allocation, B.C.’s $1-billion contribution toward a federal cost-sharing agreement, and other significant financial relief measures.
“This is timely information that legislators and the public can use to get a broad understanding of the financial aspects of the government’s response to the pandemic,” Pickup said.
“It’s important to note, however, that the information in the report was not audited by my office.”
Report highlights include a detailed summary of BC’s contingencies allocation:
* $3.5 billion has been reserved for individuals and households, critical services and business and industry.
Of this money, the office was able to identify allocations totaling around $2.6 billion.
* $1.9 billion for individuals and household;
* $642 million for critical services; and
* $100 million for business and industry.
The remaining $1.5 billion has been set aside for economic recovery, but this money has not yet been allocated.
“My office has identified approximately $1.6 billion in other financial relief measures, as well as $6 billion in deferrals,” Pickup said.
Those measures include:
* $914 million in revenue reductions;
* $500 million for the one-time B.C. climate action tax credit;
* $203 million in funding presumed to be from ministry base-budget allocations; and
* $6 billion in deferrals, which includes the postponement of specific payments, fees, taxes, or bills for businesses and individuals.