Medical, pension payments up in 2014

Medical premiums for all but low-income B.C. residents go up again with the start of a new year.

Medical Services Plan premiums go up four per cent effective Jan. 1

Medical premiums for all but low-income B.C. residents go up again with the start of a new year.

The B.C. government is increasing its Medical Services Plan premiums for the fifth straight year, by four per cent across the board. The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation released its annual survey of tax and other payroll deductions Monday, calculating that MSP premiums in B.C. have risen 28 per cent since 2010.

Effective Jan. 1, the monthly health premium for a single person rises from $66.50 to $69.25. In 2014, families of two pay $125.50, up from $120.50, and families of three or more pay $138.50, up from $133.00.

Many full-time employees have their MSP premiums paid by their employer. People earning $30,000 or less are eligible for reduced premiums on a sliding scale, with premiums eliminated for those earning $22,000 a year or less.

The B.C. government has used the increased MSP revenues to offset the long-term growth of health care costs, which are approaching half of the total provincial budget.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s 2013 budget projected health spending to increase 2.3 per cent in the current fiscal year, 2.7 per cent in the year beginning April 1 and only 2.2 per cent the following year. The government’s critics called that unrealistic after years of increases of more than five per cent.

The CTF reports that Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance payments are also going up for many people, despite a federal government pledge to freeze EI premiums for three years.

In its New Year Tax Changes report, it calculates that maximum EI premiums will go up $23 in 2014, totalling $914 for the year.

The maximum employee Canada Pension Plan deduction, charged to those earning $52,500 or more, goes up $70 to $2,426. Employers match employee CPP payments dollar for dollar.

Just Posted

First Nations also worried about northern B.C. natural gas pipeline challenge

They already have contracts lined up should project proceed

Burns Lake area wildfires contained, but still burning

Smouldering ground fires and smoke still expected in the coming weeks

Indigenous youth ski program in Northwest gets funding

Olympian Beckie Scott was in Witset and Hazelton for first time last year.

Gak 4 Cops for Cancer

The Gitwangak team raised over $10,700 for pediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes.

North BC Ale Trail features Smithers

After filming in Smithers in July, North BC Ale Trail is ready to sell a trip to the Bulkley Valley.

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Misspelling B.C. toddler’s plane ticket leaves travel agent on the hook for $1100

Mom and toddler couldn’t get on flight from Iran to Vancouver

Tempering the B.C. cannabis legalization ‘gold rush’

Retail selling of marijuana offers potential business opportunities and pitfalls

B.C. cancer patient’s case exposes gaps in care for homeless people: advocates

Terry Willis says he’s praying for a clean, safe place to live to undergo the cancer treatments he needs after he was denied chemotherapy because he lives in a Victoria homeless shelter.

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Salvage of grounded Haida Gwaii barge to begin as emergency command post closes

The barge and lodge broke away from their moorings in high winds on Sept. 8 and ran aground.

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Most Read