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

Burns Lake sawmills think outside the box to increase timber supply

Hampton Lumber plans to mill poplar in their Burns Lake area sawmills

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Lake Babine Nation builds affordable rental units

The new building is able to accommodate up to six families

Burns Lake candidates share their platforms

Candidates asked about post-secondary education, timber supply and wildfire recovery

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Just 7% of Northern B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Most Read