Economist Jon Kesselman is right on the ball when he refers to the MSP as a regressive tax [“Prof refers to B.C. MSP fee as a head tax”, December 31–January 7]. Those who pay full premiums are minimum-wage earners; self-employed, part-time, or temporary workers; seniors; and the unemployed—in other words, low-income.
Our MLAs have their premiums covered under “benefits”. Ditto public employees, union members, and most employees with high salaries. To add insult to injury, MSP is not considered a medical expense for income-tax purposes, so even those who have their premiums paid by employers pay more tax because premiums are added to earned income as a taxable benefit. Therefore, B.C. and Ontario residents pay a tax on a tax that other Canadians are not subject to. Isn’t that discriminatory?
Our provincial Liberals have encouraged this discrimination by increasing premiums. However, despite comments by former MLA David Schreck, the NDP made no attempt to cancel this unfair tax when it was in power.
Most British Columbians are thankful for our medicare system and would not object to a fair and equitable fee. Perhaps a user fee, but please make it a legitimate medical expense and not another excuse for an unfair tax grab by Ottawa.
> Peggy Hillman / Vancouver