B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Small business owners in British Columbia say a new health-care payroll tax will result in higher prices for consumers as companies struggle to absorb the cost.

The NDP government announced in this week’s budget that it would be phasing out medical services premiums by 2020 and instead will have an employer health tax of 1.95 per cent for companies with a payroll tax over $1.5 million.

Eric Pateman, president of the Vancouver restaurant Edible Canada, says the tax will add about $30,000 to his annual payroll costs of roughly $1.5 million.

He says with profit margins in the restaurant industry range between three to four per cent and there is little room to absorb significant labour cost increases, meaning prices will have to go up for consumers.

Al Hasham, owner of Maximum Express Courier in Victoria, says even small tax increases of one to two per cent stifles the growth of businesses, leading to staffing cuts or higher prices.

Finance Minister Carole James says only five per cent of businesses will be paying the full tax rate and those covering the existing health premiums for their employees will see savings as the fees are cut in half and then eliminated.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Budget 2018

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

UPDATE: body of missing man located

Jerret Snow was last seen May 19

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

Most Read