Raise carbon tax, abolish MSP premiums

I urge the B.C. government to increase the carbon tax and use the excess revenue to abolish the awful, regressive MSP premium fee.

To the Editor,

I urge the B.C. government to increase the carbon tax and use the excess revenue to abolish the awful, regressive MSP premium fee.

I understand that this government will only use revenues from the carbon tax to reduce other B.C. taxes. Well, the MSP premium fee may not be called a tax, but it impacts me and many British Columbians exactly as if it were a tax. Worse, it’s a head tax, costing most of us the same despite our different means. Other provinces don’t have this fee, and neither should we.

Meanwhile, the carbon tax does not have to be frozen at $30 per tonne. The B.C. Liberals can take the advice of their climate advisory panel and start increasing it beyond $30. It won’t hurt the economy any more than the MSP fee does.

Premier Clark has the power to axe the most regressive part of B.C.’s tax regime. Funding the MSP fee’s removal with an increase in B.C.’s carbon tax, already the best climate action policy in Canada, would be within her mandate and would advance two of her agendas at once: the goal of improving tax and fee burdens on British Columbians, and the goal of fighting climate change.

Rafe SaltmanNanaimo