Premier John Horgan shakes thirteen-month-old Caliah Kornneluk’s foot as her mom Jocye Yan looks on after the premier along with Minister of Finance, Carole James and Minister of Health, Adrian Dix held a news conference in downtown Vancouver, Thursday, December, 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

British Columbians will ring in the new year by joining all Canadians in not paying monthly rates for health care.

Premiums under the province’s Medical Services Plan will be eliminated starting Jan. 1, saving individuals up to $900 a year while families will pocket up to $1,800.

The Finance Ministry says ditching the “unfair” premiums will amount to a net tax cut of $800 million.

Finance Minister Carole James says the last such health-care tax in the country has been the most complex of any of the province’s programs to manage.

B.C. BUDGET 2018: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

The change will come two years after premiums were halved and a year after B.C. introduced a payroll tax of 1.95 per cent for businesses with a payroll more than $1.5 million.

Companies with a payroll under $500,000 have been exempt from the tax, while those in between pay a reduced rate, though some business owners have complained it leads to losses when profit margins are already thin.

KEEP READING: Think B.C.’s employer health tax doesn’t affect you? Think again

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