KAMLOOPS — The provincial NDP government is taking a new step toward eliminating Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums in B.C.
Finance Minister Carole James has established a task force of experts to advise the government on the issue with an eye to eliminating the premiums within four years.
Prof. Lindsay Tedds of the University of Victoria has been appointed as chair of the task force. According to the government she is an expert in applied economic research and policy analysis focusing on the design and implementation of tax policy.
Business people, academics and other stakeholders will share their views. The public is encouraged to participate in this consultation process by clicking here. The task force will issue a final report to government by March 31, 2018.
During the Province's budget update in September, it promised to cut MSP premiums in half by Jan. 1, 2018. That promise was originally made by the previous BC Liberal government earlier this year.
Victoria says the 50 per cent reduction will save individuals $450 per year, and families up to $900 per year. The budget update also raised the income threshold below which households are fully exempt from MSP premiums by $2,000.
This means senior couples with a net income up to $35,000 will pay no premiums in 2018. Single parents with two children and a net income up to $32,000 will also pay no premiums.
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