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You may know that Medical Service Plan premiums were reduced by 50% on January 1, 2018. This is just the first step of a four-year plan to fully eliminate medical premiums by 2021.
But let’s take a step back.
In 2017, MSP premiums brought in $2.25 billion to provincial revenues. Once medical premiums are fully eliminated, annual government revenues will be down a couple of billion dollars - and it’s reasonable to question how they plan to recoup those losses. With a few big-ticket items on the horizon that the new provincial government originally campaigned on (such as universal daycare, renter subsidies, a phase-out of PST on electricity), new revenues will have to be found to avoid deficits.
Some have suggested the B.C. government should replace lost revenues from eliminating MSP premiums with a new employer-paid payroll tax. According to preliminary survey results, 93% of you either strongly oppose or somewhat oppose the introduction of said tax. Stacking additional taxes and fees on your back is not a viable option to recover lost revenues from the elimination of MSP premiums.
A task force has been appointed to determine a fiscally responsible way to eliminate Medical Service Plan premiums. On January 11, we presented your priorities to the MSP taskforce. Thanks to your feedback from our recent survey on provincial and municipal issues, we will also be making a submission to the commission to further strengthen our position.