Highlights of British Columbia’s 2019-20 budget presented Tuesday:
> A new B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit will replace an existing tax program for families next year, providing families with one child under the age of 18 with as much as $1,600, more than double what the old benefit provided.
> Interest is immediately eliminated on all new and existing student loans from the provincial government, which means an average student would save $2,300 in interest, based on a combined federal and provincial loan of $28,000 being repaid over 10 years.
> A first-time revenue sharing agreement will provide First Nations with $3 billion over 25 years from provincial gaming revenue, with every Aboriginal government eligible for between $250,000 and $2 million annually.
> Support payments for foster and adoptive parents, as well as extended family members caring for children, are being increased at a cost of $85 million.
> Social assistance payments are going up by $50 a month, on top of the $100 monthly increase that was previously announced.
> Another 200 modular homes will be built for homeless people, bringing the total across the province to 2,200.
> The Clean B.C. climate plan will see $902 million spent to cut greenhouse gas emissions and offer incentives to help people retrofit their homes and purchase electric vehicles.
> A surplus of $274 million is projected for 2019-20, $287 million in 2020-21 and $585 million in 2021-22.
> The government expects to bring in $59 billion in revenue in 2019-20 and spend $58.3 billion.
> Economic growth is forecast to hit 2.4 % in 2019 and between two and 2.3 % next year.