B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Small business owners in British Columbia say a new health-care payroll tax will result in higher prices for consumers as companies struggle to absorb the cost.

The NDP government announced in this week’s budget that it would be phasing out medical services premiums by 2020 and instead will have an employer health tax of 1.95 per cent for companies with a payroll tax over $1.5 million.

Eric Pateman, president of the Vancouver restaurant Edible Canada, says the tax will add about $30,000 to his annual payroll costs of roughly $1.5 million.

He says with profit margins in the restaurant industry range between three to four per cent and there is little room to absorb significant labour cost increases, meaning prices will have to go up for consumers.

Al Hasham, owner of Maximum Express Courier in Victoria, says even small tax increases of one to two per cent stifles the growth of businesses, leading to staffing cuts or higher prices.

Finance Minister Carole James says only five per cent of businesses will be paying the full tax rate and those covering the existing health premiums for their employees will see savings as the fees are cut in half and then eliminated.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Homeless Action Week: Our Place Society asking for blankets, sleeping bags

The fundraiser is off to a slow start as the days get colder

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Surge in requests for help, reports of sexual assault since #MeToo

Growing demand for Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic’s services in first year of #MeToo

Victoria among Top 10 sunniest Canadian cities

Victoria ranks 6th in sunny days per year

Victoria teen suffers whiplash in school ‘bubble’ soccer game

Middle school students injured in teacher-student competition

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

ELECTION 2018: Vancouver Island politician ending unprecedented 40-year run

Mike Kokura served on the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board since 1972

Most Read