EDITORIAL: MSP cut not so dramatic

This is a cut to Medical Services Plan premiums, slicing them in half for most people, starting next year.

The centrepiece of the provincial budget announced last week is a tax cut.

But not any tax cut.

This is a cut to Medical Services Plan premiums, slicing them in half for most people, starting next year.

Heading into an election in just a few months, the B.C. Liberals obviously want to take credit for slashing the unpopular fee levied to pay for a portion of our province’s health care costs.

There’s just one problem with that – they’re slicing away increases they put into place.

In fact, it was just a year ago that most middle-class folks saw a 14 per cent increase in MSP premiums in the last budget.

And there was a four per cent hike in 2015, a four per cent hike in 2013, a four per cent increase in 2012, an increase in 2010 …

Premier Christy Clark and Finance Minister Michael de Jong aren’t rolling back just any tax, they’re rolling back a tax that is specifically a Liberal construct, one they have increased time and again.

The MSP is one of the most regressive taxes in the province.

You begin paying it if you earn more than $24,000 a year, which is barely more than a full-time minimum wage job.

Millionaires barely pay more than folks scraping by – and the impact of a four per cent hike on an average worker is obviously much larger.

Cutting the MSP will be welcome, but the fact that the Liberals are able to cut it just emphasizes how well things are going in B.C.

Right now, the economy is booming, government coffers are full – and the Liberals can afford to cut back the tax that penalizes the poor and middle class the most.

Of course, if they really wanted to help, they’d simply fold it into income tax – a more progressive option than a fee on minimum wage workers.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

(File - Sooke News Mirror)
Man exposes himself to woman, children on Sooke trail

Suspect believed to be between 55 and 65 years of age

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Pixabay photo)
Emergency sewer repairs underway on Phillips Road in Sooke

Sewage may have entered DeMamiel Creek and Sooke River

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

The District reopened access to the Sooke Potholes on Friday. (Contributed - Ashley Ensor)
Sooke Potholes reopen after storm

The park was closed on Wednesday after down power lines

Most Read