UPDATE: British Columbia’s 2017-18 budget released

WATCH: The 2017-18 B.C. budget has been released. Mary Griffin reports. 

Medical Service Premiums highlight BC’s 2017-18 budget that was released today.

BC Finance Minister Mike De Jong announced that MSP’s will be cut by 50% (for households earning less thant $120,000 per year) starting January 1st, 2018 in hopes of gradually eliminating them entirely.

The previous forecast surplus of $2.2 billion for 2016-17 has been revised to about $1.5 billion in the budget, mostly because of new spending on housing, forest fire prevention measures and infrastructure.

Spending on education will increase to $740 million over the next three years, with $320 million going towards covering the costs of ongoing negotiations with the teachers’ union after the province lost a Supreme Court of Canada decision on class size related to special-needs children.

It was also announced that an increase in the threshold in the first-time home buyers program escalates to $500,000, which the government estimates will save up to $8,000 in property transfer tax for people buying their first home.