Victoria, B.C. - While a freeze in Medical Services Plan (MSP) premium increases is certainly welcome, the government has lost the opportunity to fully reform this regressive tax says Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay - Gordon Head and Leader of the B.C. Green Party.
“British Columbians will see this MSP announcement for what it is, a cynical ploy to gain votes as we head into an election year”, says Andrew Weaver. “We need to eliminate the MSP, not simply tinker around its edges.”
“Over the last three years I have consistently and continually called for the MSP to rolled into the income tax system with premiums calculated on taxable income rather than the current system which is a flat tax no matter what people earn.” says Andrew Weaver. “This would turn a regressive tax into a fair system much like has already been done in Ontario”
In Ontario, if you earn $20,000 or more a year you pay the Ontario Health Premium (OHP). It ranges from $0 if your taxable income is $20,000 or less, and goes up to $900 per year if your taxable income is more than $200,600. Instead of the mail-out system we have in BC, the OHP is deducted from the pay and pensions of those with employment or pension income that meets the minimum threshold.
“Remember – only Ontario’s top earners are paying $900 per year. Right now people in British Columbia are paying $900 a year regardless of whether they earn $42,000 or $4,200,000 a year.”
“As Leader of the BC Green Party I can affirm that a B.C. Green Party government would eliminate the regressive monthly MSP premiums. Instead, a B.C. Green government would introduce a progressive system in which rates are determined by one’s earnings. And a net and substantive administrative savings to taxpayers would arise in rolling MSP premiums into the existing income tax system.” says Andrew Weaver
Call to eliminate MSP premiums: http://www.bcgreens.ca/a_renewed_call_to_eliminate_msp_premiums
Moving Forward with MSP premiums: http://www.bcgreens.ca/moving_forward_with_msp_premium_reforms