Weaver takes aim at MSP premiums

Green Party leader calls for province to roll MSP premiums into existing income tax system

  • Jan. 12, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver is calling for the elimination of monthly MSP premiums.

The B.C. Green Party leader instead wants to see a progressive system with rates determined by a person’s earnings. Calling it the party’s first pledge in advance of the 2017 provincial election, the Green Party contends rolling MSP premiums into the existing income tax system would lead to net administrative savings.

Weaver points out that a person earning $30,000 a year in B.C. is currently paying the same rate for MSP premiums as someone earning $3 million.

“Those who can least afford it are left carrying the biggest burden with the way we charge MSP premiums in British Columbia,” said Weaver. “The government could fix this as soon as next month in the provincial budget. So far the only serious action this government has taken is to continue to annually increase this regressive tax.”

Currently, MSP premiums are charged to anyone who lives in B.C. for six months or longer and requires them to pay monthly premiums for health care coverage. Those earning less than $30,000 can qualify for premium assistance. MSP premiums for single individuals have more than doubled since 2000, with the rate going from $36 a month to $75 a month today. The rate for a family of three is now $150 a month, up from $142 last year.

The Green Party vows to follow the same route taken by Ontario, where premiums go from zero for those with a taxable income of less than $20,000 to $900 a year for those earning more than $200,600.

“If you earn $30,000 or more in British Columbia you are paying the same rate for MSP premiums that Ontario charges its highest earners,” said Weaver. “This unfair head tax on low income and middle class British Columbians needs to end.”

 

Just Posted

Light wind sends half of Swiftsure yacht fleet back to shore early

Many racers return overnight in unusual race conditions

Leaving dog in hot car can result in $75,000 fine, prohibition from owning animals, prison

B.C. SPCA received 800 calls last year about dogs left in hot cars

Radio Host Erin Davis pens Mourning Has Broken following death of her daughter

Book by North Saanich woman gives advice to others struggling with grief

Bed Races on Beacon champs ready to defend their title

Race takes place July 7 on Beacon Avenue, raising funds for the Peninsula Youth Clinic

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

WATCH: Thousands enjoy sunshine at second annual Village Block Party

Cook Street filled with local food, music and more

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read