MSP premiums punish lower income earners

A special Happy New Year to all who are personally subjected to the perpetual Medical Service Plan (MSP) premium increases

Editor:

A special Happy New Year to all who are personally subjected to the perpetual Medical Service Plan (MSP) premium increases.

As the provincial Liberal government imposes another annual increase to MSP premiums, it is again time to remind British Columbia residents that this is probably the most regressive tax in Canada.

A family of two with a “MSP adjusted net income” of $31,000 will pay $1,560 annually or about five per cent of their income for MSP premiums. With a net income of $50,000 these premiums will be approximately three per cent and at $80,000 they will be around two per cent. This tax destined for general revenue belies the government’s statement, “British Columbia has the lowest provincial income tax rate.”

The B.C. residents most affected by this regressive taxation, through provincial and other levels of taxation and fees, also contribute to the MSP premiums of approximately 400,000 public sector employees from all levels of government, institutions and agencies, including MLAs, Ministers and the Premier.

MSP premiums are an unfair tax, inefficiently collected for general revenue by a managing bureaucracy. Considering all the public sector employees and union members who benefit from this process, don’t expect any change, as no politician of any stripes will address the issue. The most one can hope for is the annual increases and rhetoric about the lowest income tax rate will cease.

Bob Robinson, Langley