On Empty Homes, Crashed Lamborghinis and Paying Less Than the Minimum Wage

Hey, remember last week when I totally called the BC Budget? Yeah, me neither: BC NDP ignores elites and tables budget for those who need help. That’s certainly something an elite would say. Indeed, as Kay Higgins notes: “It is a testament to the nature of the past 16 years of government that minimal but significant investments in necessary services and infrastructure seem like largesse…”

But aside from the major investment in child care and the expected end to MSP, there is a troubling emphasis on middle class home ownership. There is nothing that will stop landlords from jacking up rent.

Throwing a $400 dollar renters rebate won’t do anything long term to solve the rental crisis, either. We need a rent freeze: Don’t Give Us a Renters’ Rebate. “A rent freeze would cost nothing to taxpayers, and does not even need to be legislated — it could be implemented unilaterally by the Residential Tenancy Branch.”

“Affordability cannot be achieved by the market; the housing crisis is a massive market failure. That’s why we need aggressive progressive property taxes with revenue going directly to fund public and social housing — genuinely affordable supply.” — Derrick O’Keefe

Kai Nagata takes a more optimistic view of the budget:

But that’s not going to stop the middle class from whinging. Take this Alberta couple who feel discriminated against. Let this sink in for a second: they feel that paying their share of taxes is discrimination. That’s kind of an insult to people who face discrimination based on things that are completely out of their control…you know, like skin colour.

Own property in B.C.? You could be on the hook for a massive tax hike next year. My friend, Lu Lee: “Watching privileged folk lose their shit when they have to contribute to a healthy society is my favourite sport. Your vacation home isn’t a human right, friendos. You’re gonna be ok.”

Meanwhile, Gregor takes credit for the budget’s action on affordability and nobody is buying it. Great twitter thread. Buddy got ratioed:

If he has been calling for provincial action on real estate speculation for many years, then why did the influence of global money just recently hit him “like a ton of bricks“? And why did he call Andy Yan racist for suggesting so?

Of course, the one thing that the mayor actually did after finally admitting there was a crisis contains a major loophole:

Meanwhile, here’s a map of people who haven’t declared their homes empty or otherwise: Empty Homes Tax: City of Vancouver releases heat map showing clusters of undeclared properties.

Wow, it’s been a long time since I brought up the lotos eaters: Report: The minimum amount it costs millennials to live in Vancouver in 2018. 50$/week for food? That doesn’t even cover my daily avocado toast.

I mean, not even servers make that kind of money. Which is why the following link makes perfect sense: Canada Revenue Agency Is Coming For Your Undeclared Income From Tips. Yeah, not the 1% and their offshore tax havens. Nope. People who bring those people nice wine.

Scumbag of the week: Emad Yacoub believes it’s ok to pay front of house staff less than the minimum wage.

Runner up: Greyhound to stop serving B.C.’s Highway of Tears, Yukon and Vancouver Island. Corporate social responsibility for the win.

Here’s a perfect symbol of Vancouver: Snow. Vancouver. Lamborghini. ‘N’ sign. Print that out, and put it on all of our Welcome to Vancouver signs. Put it on all of our official letterheads. Replace all the souvenir T-shirts on Water Street with a t-shirt of this. Project it to the outside of the airport. Put it on the citizenship test, “In what city in Canada is this a likely scene?”

Scan of the day:

Bonus: An Oral History of The Beans 48-Hour Concert.

Pre-shift: Listen to Tea and Two Slices on Save on Radio this Friday at 2pm.

There are 3 comments

  1. The $400 annual benefit to renters was a bastard lie the ndp puked up in their greed for power. They lie so frequently and badly, it’s norm to them.

    Way worse, this is an example of the bad gov’t that prop rep brings. One party promises something, but can’t complete because the other coalition members won’t. Bullshit.

  2. It’s weird that on the same page you quoted this, “Watching privileged folk lose their shit when they have to contribute to a healthy society is my favourite sport.” you suggest it is unfair for the government to remind servers they need to pay taxes on their entire income?

    Dude, servers make way more money than I do (and a whole lot of people!) and it’s not unfair to go after the millions that aren’t being declared right now to pay for the services and infrastructure that we all need.

    If a server isn’t getting a lot shifts, is still low income, has a kid, or is going to school, this is barely going to affect their tax contribution anyway.

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