New Year’s MSP surprise is no gift to British Columbians

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John Horgan Leader of the B.C. New Democrats
John Horgan Leader of the B.C. New Democrats
John Horgan
Leader of the B.C. New Democrats

Victoria: It’s been a rough few years for British Columbians, especially young people trying to get a start in life and seniors living on fixed incomes. Food bank use is at an all-time high, and more than half of British Columbians are living paycheck to paycheck.

Unfortunately, it’s about to get rougher for over half a million British Columbians as Christy Clark plans to raise medical service premiums (MSP) by an additional 10 per cent a year for a family of two adults without children. That’s an increase of $168 dollars.

All in all, the Christy Clark government is going to be raking in an additional $46 million from this tax on the struggling middle class.

Families are already paying almost 25 per cent more for MSP than they were before Christy Clark became premier.

Christy Clark has raised MSP year, after year, after year, despite the fact that this tax hurts middle class families the most. The reason this tax is the worst for middle class families is simple – with MSP, someone who makes $40,000 a year pays the same MSP tax as someone who makes $400,000 or even $4 million. That’s unfair.

B.C. under the Christy Clark government is the only province in Canada with a MSP tax. Every other province in the country has rejected this unfair and inefficient tax that hurts middle class families.

Next year is an election year, so Christy Clark is tinkering around with the edges of her unfair MSP tax. She is going to give some families a break next year by removing the MSP tax on children. But families will still be paying more than they were before she became premier. And if she gets re-elected she will raise MSP again, and again and again, as she has since she first got elected.

Christy Clark thinks that seniors and young couples don’t deserve a break. I believe that all British Columbians should be treated fairly. That’s why I want to get rid of the unfair MSP tax on the middle class. It’s the right thing to do. Every other province has rejected this tax, B.C. can too.

After 15 years of the B.C. Liberal government, B.C. families have seen the basic government services they rely on decline while taxes and fees rise.

Since Christy Clark became premier taxes and fees on middle class families have increased, on average, by $1000 a year. Meanwhile, Christy Clark gave the richest 2 per cent of British Columbians a $1 billion tax break. Higher taxes for struggling middle class families – and lower taxes for those who need help least.

Christy Clark has the wrong priorities, her unfair MSP tax shows that.​​