MSP cut to be offset with pain at the pump: Canadian Taxpayers Federation

By Greg Fry
December 29, 2017 - 2:34pm Updated: December 29, 2017 - 3:12pm

KAMLOOPS — There's both good news and bad news to look forward to in 2018 when it comes to taxes.

"To start off with the good, our Medical Services Premium, the MSP, which is of course the mandatory health care tax that all British Columbians have to pay, is being cut in half," says Canadian Taxpayers Federation BC Director Kris Sims. "So, that will save the average two-person family about $900 every year."

But as one hand giveth, she notes the other will take away with a bump in B.C.'s carbon tax.

"It's going up to $35 per ton in April, that keeps us at the top of the heap in Canada. What that means in real dollars is that if you're filling up your average car, say a Toyota Corolla, that's about $5 extra every single time you fill up your car, just for the carbon tax," she says. "That does not include extra taxes or fees. And if you drive a pickup or SUV it's an extra $10 a fillup."

Sims finds the issue even more concerning because the carbon tax will no longer be revenue neutral.

"Now they (government) don't need to tell us where the extra half a billion dollars they're going to generate is going."

Sims adds the carbon tax hike is tougher to swallow in smaller communties.

"If you're living in Kamloops and you're driving to the grocery store in your truck, or you're heading down the Coquihalla to go to see relatives or going to work, you're burning way more gasoline and way more diesel and you don't have the option of taking the bus."

Federally, Sims says employment insurance premiums will rise slightly, costing employees and employers an additional $9 and $13 per year, respectively. The indexation of the Canada Child Benefit will also come into force on July 1, 2018, leading to a slight decrease in payments to eligible families on January 1.


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