The B.C. government has responded to criticism that an increased cost for massage therapy under the harmonized sales tax is unfair.
During a press conference yesterday (June 7), New Democrat health critic Adrian Dix claimed the 12-percent HST will raise the fee for an average $88 session by around $6, limiting affordability.
Dix highlighted the need those with chronic illnesses like multiple sclerosis have for massage therapy.
Finance Minister Colin Hansen acknowledged that the new tax—a blend of the provincial sale tax and federal GST—will increase the cost for some goods and services when it goes into effect on July 1.
“That’s why we’re providing a B.C. HST credit that will be paid quarterly to over 1.1 million low- and modest-income British Columbians,” Hansen said.
“We are also providing income tax relief by increasing the basic personal amount tax credit to $11,000. This means up to $80 back in the pockets of individuals and up to $160 for those claiming spousal credits.”
“It’s important to note British Columbians will not pay any HST on prescription drugs; most health, medical and dental services, including visits to the doctor or dentist, chiropractic services and physiotherapy services; and certain other medical devices,” Hansen added.