Notes on the BC Budget 2024

On February 22, 2024, British Columbia’s Finance Minister presented the 2024 Budget, outlining significant investments to strengthen health care and services. This memo highlights items that may be of interest to plan administrators, employers, and members.


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Notes on the BC Budget (PDF)


Health Care

The Budget includes over $2 billion in new investments for the public healthcare system. This includes $68 million for a new publicly funded in-vitro fertilization (IVF) program, funding both treatment and medication for a single cycle starting April 1, 2025, to help people wanting to start a family.

Additionally, $354 million over three years will go toward investments in home and community care services for seniors. The Budget also includes $270 million over three years for cancer care to enhance access to screening, early detection, and diagnostic services.

K-12 Education

The Budget includes $968 million for additional classroom staff to accommodate enrollment growth. This allocation encompasses $255 million for the Classroom Enhancement Fund, aimed at hiring more teachers, and counselors. A record $4.2 billion is also dedicated to building, renovating, and seismically upgrading schools and playgrounds over the next three years.

Mental Health

The Budget provides for over $215 million over three years to sustain addiction treatment and recovery programs. This includes $117 million to continue funding over 2,200 community mental health and substance use treatment beds. $49 million has been allocated to support existing harm reduction initiatives at overdose prevention sites, drug checking, and naloxone kit distribution.

Youth with Support Needs

The Budget provides $26 million more over three years to support more children and youth with an autism diagnosis as well as children and youth with severe disability or complex health care needs. Autism funding supports children under the age of six with reimbursement up to $22,000 per year in services, and youth aged 6‑18 with reimbursements up to $6,000 per year.

B.C. Family Benefit

The Budget provides $248 million for a new one-time bonus of a 25% increase on the existing BC Family Benefit, from July 2024 to June 2025 including expanding eligibility to more families. This will provide an average of $445 to 340,000 low and middle-income families over a 12-month period. This is in addition to the existing B.C. Family Benefit provides a maximum annual benefit of $1,750 for a family’s first child, $1,100 for a second child, and $900 for each subsequent child.

B.C. Electricity Affordability Credit

The Budget includes a one-year B.C. Electricity Affordability Credit effective April 1, 2024. B.C. households will see an average of $100 in savings on their residential electricity bills over a 12-month period. Commercial and industrial consumers will receive savings of about 4.6 percent from their 2023/24 electricity bills.

Employer Health Tax

The Budget includes lower Employer Health Tax obligations through an increase to the exemption threshold from $500,000 to $1 million. An estimated 90 percent of businesses will now be exempted from the Employer Health Tax.

Climate Action Tax Credit

The Budget increases the maximum annual climate action tax credit payment from $447 to $504 for an adult, from $223.50 to $252 for a spouse or common-law partner, and from $111.50 to $126 per child. The climate action tax credit helps offset the effects of carbon taxes paid by low and middle-income families. It is being increased to reflect the scheduled carbon tax rate increase this year.