A growing number of people like the idea of abolishing the MSP premium.
More than 65,000 people have now had signed the petition since it was posted three weeks ago by Michelle Coulter in Ucluelet.
The petition asks Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minster Justin Trudeau to axe the tax.
Coulter hopes is to see the number of signees increase significantly.
“My goal is 800,000 because that is the amount of British Columbians that pay MSP directly without a subsidy or without their employer paying for it. I urge every British Columbian to say no to this regressive tax. If they want to tax it as a tax then do it on my income.”
B.C. is the only province in the country to levy a healthcare premium, while other provinces like Ontario use a payroll and/or income tax surcharge.
Coulter calls the MSP premium regressive and says it’s time for change.
“Well at the very least it should be assessed by your income tax, at the very least. Like anyother tax it should be on what you make. It is just a cash grab when it is done anyother way. The gravy train has got to stop.”
She says she started the petition with her children in mind.
“It is an unfair regressive tax. With three children, the youngest turning 19 in a few short months, I had to take action on their behalf.”
New rates came into effect Jan. 1
As of the first of this month, if your work isn’t picking up the MSP tab, your monthly fee is $75 for singles, $144 for a family of two, and $150 for a family of three of more.
Middle incomes family affected most
According to CKNW contributor Keith Baldrey, annual revenue generated from MSP premiums has increased 250% since the BC Liberals came into power in 2001, from $1 billion annually to a projected $2.5 billion next fiscal year.
While this is good news for government coffers, Baldrey says it’s becoming a growing financial burden for middle income families in B.C.
“Quite simply, the monthly premium has likely become a real financial burden for perhaps a million British Columbians.”
Health Minister Terry Lake is on holidays and unable to comment.
LISTEN to Michelle Coulter talk with DREX about the petition:
MSP increases since 2010:
With files from Shane Woodford and Anna Kalfa