British Columbia

B.C. government to scrap planned 4% MSP increase

The B.C. government says better than expected financial numbers has prompted it to scrap a planned four per cent hike in MSP rates.

Larger than expected surplus reason behind the freeze, says government

The provincial government won't be increasing MSP premiums by 4 per cent next year as it originally announced.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong is expected to make the announcement at the province's quarterly financial update on Thursday morning. 

The province says a stronger fiscal quarter has given it room to cancel the increase, which would have brought in more than $100 million.

In February's provincial budget, De Jong announced changes to the system, effective for next year, which would have increased the base rate from $75 to $78 a month. 

It also announced plans to stop charging parents with kids 18 and under the health premiums, and to pro-rate the amount people making between $22,000 and $42,000 have to pay. Those announced changes will stay in effect.

Last quarter the province said revenues from property transfer taxes were almost $500 million more than expected. 

With files from Richard Zussman

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