The B.C. Liberal government likely has the provincial NDP “jumping for joy,” says Martyn Brown, chief of staff to former premier Gordon Campbell, in a scathing critique of the budget during an interview with CBC News anchor Gloria Macarenko Tuesday.

Brown, a longtime Liberal insider in B.C., said the budget had done the NDP’s tax-raising “dirty work” for them.

“The budget basically conceded the tax turf to the NDP,” Brown said.

“I think the only ones jumping for joy today, really, will be the NDP because, effectively, this government has done the dirty work of saying it needs to increase corporate taxes, it needs to increase personal taxes on higher income earners, it’s increasing MSP premiums.”

He said the Liberals basically came up with the very tax agenda that the New Democrats had been suggesting.

“And most of that won’t take effect until next January, a year from now, so you won’t feel it in this election year but you sure will feel it in the years to come,” said Brown.

'A lot to do about nothing'

Brown also predicted the budget will be dead before it has much chance to be enacted.
“It’s not going to matter. This budget won’t see the light of day no matter who gets elected. They’re going to have to introduce a new budget. All the assumptions will be re-evaluated in May and all of the spending will be re-evaluated in May. So really, this is a lot to do about nothing.”

Brown, author of the e-book, Towards a New Government in British Columbia, has been highly critical of the two-year-old Christy Clark administration, and for months has been predicting an NDP victory in the May 14 election.

He says he still is pulling for the Liberals to win, but isn’t holding out much hope. “Miracles do happen in politics, but it’s a long shot, to put it mildly,” Brown said.