BC's Education Critic says School Districts should be exempt from NDP employer health tax

BC's Liberal Opposition critic says the BC Government needs to take a serious look at the impact its new "employer health tax" is having on school districts.

The new tax was introduced in the NDP Budget to replace unpopular Medical Services Premiums, and applies to businesses with more than half-a-million dollars in payroll.  

Education critic Dan Davies says everyone expected the NDP to phase out the MSP -- but says no one expected them to come up with a new way to claw it back. 

"You know it's almost that classic bait and switch you know? It's one thing to be talking continuously, and the minister has about increasing the education budget. But then it's quite another thing to turn around and tax it all back, at basically a loss."

Davies says his party is pressing the NDP to exclude groups that will be adversely impacted:

"During question period and otherwise we have been asking the government to come up with a solution. Are we going to tell school districts to cut funding, cut services into classroms, cut education -- which is important. Or is there going to be some sort of an exclusion for schools districts, for nonprofits, and these other organizations?"

The Greater Victoria School District has calculated the new tax will cost them $2-million by 2020. They are appealing to the government to cover the costs.

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