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.

Just Posted

Three generations of trauma: Phyllis Webstad shares experience in residential school

The creator of Orange Shirt Day is in the Comox Valley, speaking about the trauma of residential schools

Comox Valley Airport features work from nationally renown artist

A significant new painting “Lions of the Sea,” featuring life-sized stellar and… Continue reading

Comox Valley Hospice Society Ultimate Fifty/50 Raffle winner announced

James Maxwell bought his ticket at Canadian Tire

Dinner, dance in honour of Kenny Shaw

Comox Legion honours one of the Valley’s prominent volunteers

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Island Health encourages sexual assault survivors to #TrustYourself

New social media campaign urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

Most Read