On the weekend we noted that the egregious gouging of the British Columbian citizenry via the regressive MSP premium will account for direct revenues of 2.5 billion dollars this fiscal year.
Which, of course, is more than the entire BCLiberal 'surplus'.
Which is bad enough given how regressively this money is collected from the citizenry, even with the so-called recent 'fixes'.
But then an Anon-O-Mouse chimed in with the following in the comments:
...$2.5 billion does not represent the total take of the government resulting from charging MSP premiums. Regardless of whether that $2.5 billion is paid by individuals or by their business or employer, that represents real dollars into the treasury.
This is an assumption:
If 50 percent of individuals have their MSP premiums paid by their business or employer, 50 percent of the $2.5 billion appears as a taxable benefit on their T4-slips. The amounts appearing on T4-slips equals $1.25 billion.
Now MSP premiums paid on behalf of an individual is a taxable benefit and income tax is paid at the highest marginal tax rate by that individual. Assuming an average British Columbia marginal tax on net income for affected individuals as 15 percent, 15% of $1.25 billion is paid as income tax to the provincial government. That equals $187 million in additional government revenue totaling $2.6875 billion. I doubt the income tax generated from MSP as a taxable benefit is segregated as MSP revenue. For affected individuals, this is double taxation...
Gosh, that extra $187 million further gouged out of the backs of the citizenry sure does sound 'complicated', does it not?
Well, given that...
Where did I hear our fine Premier tell us how it is so very difficult to scrap the regressive MSP premium because everything associated with it is just so darned 'complicated'?
Ah, yes, I remember now.
It was in a conversation Ms. Clark had with the Dean of the Legislative Press Gallery back in ancient times as far as BCLiberal party policy goes (i.e. it was in August of this year):
...“The things that I said (before about MSP premiums), I still believe them,” she told me during an interview on Voice of B.C. on Shaw TV Thursday. “It’s not progressive. It’s complicated. And it’s another burden that we put on families.”
Then the caveat: “Unfortunately, it’s turned out to be a very complicated thing to try and change, which I guess is why no government has ever done it or never really tried.”...
Leaving aside that Clarklandian guess about why no 'government' (without the term 'BC Liberal' in front of it) has done anything either fair or equitable, what, exactly, is that 'complicated' stuff all about, anyway?
Shall we head back to the Dean's chambers to see if our fine Premier can give us a word salad-addled hint:
...(A)s Clark noted, one of the challenges here in B.C. is that many working people don’t actually pay them. Rather, premiums are paid by their employers as part of labour contracts or other terms of employment, albeit as a taxable benefit.
“This is one of the complications,” said the premier. “You’re talking about large employers. If we were to roll all of it into the tax system, none of those large employers would pay anymore.”...
Even when she almost kinda/sorta tells the truth the good Ms. Clark can't quite bring herself to say (or see?) that it is the average Joe and/or Jill that is really getting screwed.
And how much might the double gouge cost the average Jack or Jill?...Norm Farrell chimed in with the following in the comments: "For people who have employers paying half the cost of family medical coverage, the result may be up to $432 a year in extra income tax."