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Nova Scotia Liberals commit to fight for affordability ahead of spring legislative session

Nova Scotia Liberal leader Zach Churchill is flanked by MLAs as he speaks with reporters at the Province House on Feb. 26, 2024. (Nova Scotia Liberal Party) Nova Scotia Liberal leader Zach Churchill is flanked by MLAs as he speaks with reporters at the Province House on Feb. 26, 2024. (Nova Scotia Liberal Party)
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Nova Scotia Liberal leader Zach Churchill vows to tackle the affordability and housing crisis head-on when his team and politicians return for the spring sitting at Province House later this week.

It's never been more expensive to live and work here in Nova Scotia, said Churchill, who was flanked by his team MLAs at a press conference on Monday.

"Nova Scotia has gone from being one of the most affordable places to live in this country, to one of the most expensive in the last two years," said Churchill, who listed some of the economic burdens he sees weighing heavy on the middle class.

"We see the highest inflationary costs on goods and services. We've seen the highest rent increases in the country, and we've seen power rates go up," said Churchill. "On top of that, we still have the highest sales and income taxes in the country."

To alleviate some of that financial pressure, the Liberals say they'll table a slew of bills aimed at making life more affordable for the working class, including a promise to cut the HST by two percent and cut income tax by ending "bracket creep" said Churchill, by indexing income tax rates to inflation.

"People are tired of paying the highest taxes in the country," said Churchill. "We've been pushing every single session to index income tax to inflation. We are the only province that doesn't do that."

Affordability has been a dominant issue of debate during previous sittings of the legislature, and the Liberals say now is the time to provide some relief for everyday Nova Scotians.

Churchill believes the province can afford to provide some economic assistance right now, highlighting the unexpected revenue surplus the Houston Progressive Conservative government has registered, which is well above their financial predictions over their budget.

"Tim Houston has had 3.4 billion dollars more in what his finance minister said were unexpected tax revenues," said Churchill.

Last year, Finance Minister Allan MacMaster reported $1.3 billion in additional provincial revenue, largely due to increased revenue and population growth.

The Houston government will table its 2024-25 budget when the spring legislature convenes on Thursday.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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