Government spending in British Columbia hit a new peak under former Premier John Horgan in 2021, even if COVID-19-related spending was excluded, according to a report from the Fraser Institute. The analysis showed that the highest per-person spending of all time occurred under Horgan in 2021 at $13,250, with non-COVID-related spending at $12,533. The Fraser Institute’s Senior Economist and study author, Tegan Hill, said that per-person program spending is an effective way of measuring a government’s fiscal policy.
The province’s per-person spending rose from $3,137 to $13,250 between 1965 and 2021. The highest average annual increase in per-person spending was recorded by David Barrett, premier from 1972 to 1975, at 15 percent, followed by Rita Johnston at 7.8 percent. Horgan ranked fourth with an average annual increase of 6.1 percent, just behind W.A.C. Bennett at 6.2 percent. All other premiers had average annual increases in per-person spending below 2.5 percent.
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