The Surrey Board of Trade is calling on the provincial government to overhaul the current Medical Services Plan (MSP).
Eliminating the bureaucratic apparatus needed to collect the premiums by collecting the MSP revenues through one or more existing taxes would eliminate the financial burden on employers, the self-employed and retirees, as well as those associated with premium assistance.
Small business owners and the self- employed also realize these costs through higher benefit expenses for employees and individual premiums that rise faster than the rate of inflation.
The MSP is a cost driver for employers, and in that sense, it poses problems.
The Surrey Board of Trade proposes the provincial government mandate an overhaul of the current MSP system through the new Provincial Tax Competitiveness Commission giving consideration of the following options:
1. Replace the MSP with a progressive and equitable approach to health care funding;
2. Abolish the current MSP premium system and implement a line item to the provincial income tax; and
3. Provide in advance at least one year’s notice to indicate that the MSP tax would be replaced with a combination of a payroll tax and an income tax surcharge, as is done in Ontario.
Anita Huberman, CEO
Surrey Board of Trade