Statement on possible health care premiums in Manitoba

September 18, 2017
While the provincial government should be acknowledged for consulting Manitobans before implementing health care premiums, The Winnipeg Chamber opposes the introduction of yet another layer of taxation
If Manitoba chooses to match other jurisdictions (where an average two-income family pays about $75 per month), a family would experience a cost equivalent to a 3% PST hike. Given the laundry list of escalating costs Manitobans have faced recently – CPP and EI increases, PST increase, Hydro rate increases, rising municipal realty taxes and levies, growing school board taxes and school fees and a yet to be determined carbon tax as well as the federal proposed business tax changes, Manitobans have moved beyond tax fatigue into tax exhaustion.

Manitobans’ health care services are already paid for through personal income taxes, corporate taxes, the payroll tax (Health and Education Support Levy), provincial sales tax, tobacco tax, etc. The possible introduction of yet another tax calculated without consideration of existing taxes shows the dire need for Manitoba to strike a Tax Review Commission immediately. It has been 18 years and counting since Manitoba last reviewed the entire tax system. A lot has changed in 18 years. What hasn’t, unfortunately, is continued ad hoc, patchwork tax policy, at all levels of government, undermining business confidence and certainty.

As The Winnipeg Chamber will voice our members’ thoughts, we encourage all Manitobans to share your feedback with the Province. Let the provincial government know that “living within one’s means” applies to them as well.