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

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Second beach closed to swimming at Elk/Beaver lakes

Island Health, CRD do not recommend swimming at Hamsterly or Eagle beaches

Transit extends weekend night routes, ups service levels across Greater Victoria

Says bus lanes have helped improve BC Transit service frequencies

Ringette returns to Greater Victoria

Locals are forming a new ringette association after going more than decade without

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Retired Vancouver Island teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Patrick Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Most Read