VICTORIA – It’s time for B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson to tell British Columbians if he would reinstate regressive MSP Premiums being eliminated by the new NDP government.
“Andrew Wilkinson opposes the Employer Health Tax, but he’s not clear about how he would fund the healthcare people count on,” said BC New Democrat MLA Bowinn Ma. “It’s time for the B.C. Liberals to be honest with British Columbians and admit that cancelling the EHT would mean reinstating MSP premiums, taking up to $1,800 a year out of the pockets of B.C. families.”
Until January 1, British Columbians paid $900 a year in MSP Premiums regardless of income, with someone making $60,000 paying the same bill as someone making $600,000. The NDP government has cut those premiums in half and is eliminating them entirely by 2020. Revenue to fund healthcare services will be partially replaced with an Employer Health Tax of 1.95 per cent, the lowest rate in the country, with exemptions for small businesses. Wilkinson has not indicated who would shoulder the burden if he stopped large businesses from paying the new tax.
“Andrew Wilkinson knows that health care needs to be paid for, and he would make families shoulder the burden,” said Ma. “His government doubled the premiums, and it’s clear that if ever given the chance, he would hit people with more unfair taxes and fees.”
Ma says that Wilkinson’s preference to make families pay shows that he’s not working for British Columbians.
“For 16 years, the B.C. Liberals hiked every tax and fee they could on people. Our government is making life more affordable by tackling the housing crisis, reducing the cost of childcare, and returning $2.6 billion to families and businesses by eliminating unfair MSP Premiums.”