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01/11/2012

Website lets you (try) to balance a provincial budget

During these challenging economic times, several governments are running deficits, slashing spending or doing both in order to balance the books.

While some governments will do what they think is best, one administration is putting the question to you, the people.

The government of British Columbia has created a website where users can attempt to balance the province’s books, cutting back spending in certain areas or increasing tax rates on various activities, while seeing the impact of cutbacks and tax hikes.

If you’re think that you’ll have to sift through deep, complex numbers and odd formulas, that’s not the case here.

The website they created – My B.C. Budget – is designed to let practically anyone play the role of finance minister. Which in this case is Kevin Flacon.

Facing a $458-million shortfall, you’ll need to get creative.

With the website, users can click to increase or decrease revenue streams and areas of expenditure.

Theoretically, increasing revenue will shrink the gap. But I’m not sure how many businesses would be pleased if you hiked the corporate tax rate.

At the same time, parents will be up in arms if the government were to cut back education spending. Want to irk all the citizens?

Likewise, cutting health care spending will easily trim spending, but from my observations, you’d be better off taking garbage away from a feasting raccoon.

So give the site a try – and see how you can balance a province’s maligned budget.

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

 

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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