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NDP announces task force to end BC's MSP premiums

Last Updated Nov 2, 2017 at 4:53 pm PDT

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Group will deliver final report to the government next March

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – British Columbia’s government has announced an expert task force to advise the province on how to eliminate medical premiums within four years.

“People know that MSP premiums are unfair and place significant burden on British Columbian families. Today, we are initiating a process that will eliminate these regressive fees,” says Finance Minister Carole James. “By engaging a panel of respected experts in economics, law and public policy, we will ensure the path we take is fiscally responsible, fair and evidence-based.”

The task force will be chaired by a University of Victoria professor who is an expert in applied economic research and policy analysis.

Paul Ramsey, a former NDP cabinet minister for health, environment and education, has also been appointed to the task force along with a law professor from the UBC.

Finance Minister Carole James says in a news release that Medical Services Plan premiums are unfair and place a significant burden on families.

The NDP already announced in its budget plans this fall that it aims to cut premiums by 50 per cent as of Jan. 1, which would annually save individuals up to $450 and families up to $900.

The task force is expected to deliver a final report to the government by March 31.