Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/6/2012 (3461 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Premier Greg Selinger said today his government will not impose the provincial sales tax on critical illness and disability insurance, a measure it only first mentioned in the recent budget bill.
"After very fruitful discussions by the minister of finance (Stan Struthers) and his officials with the insurance industry there will be an amendment this afternoon that will exclude individual insurance for disability, critical illness or accidental death and dismemberment with respect to the application of the PST," Selinger said in the house this afternoon.
The imposition of the seven per cent sales tax on these kinds of insurance were contained in Bill 39, the budget implementation and tax act, but not mentioned in the budget papers first released in April.
The insurance industry, including Great-West Life, criticized the province for not consulting them on this change and behind closed doors over the past few days successfully lobbied the NDP to back down. While some insurance products are taxed in other provinces, if left unchanged Manitoba would the first in Canada to tax critical illness and disability insurance.
Representatives of insurance companies, including Paul Mahon, president and CEO of Great-West Lifeco, said a tax on these products could force many people to no longer buy them and in turn drive up health-care costs for the province.
The opposition Progressive Conservatives welcomed the change, but said the NDP would not have changed it without pressure from the insurance industry.
"The NDP only changes things when they get caught," Tory finance critic Heather Stefanson said.
The NDP has expanded the PST to include a number of previously untaxed services, such as spa treatments, pedicures and manicures, as it attempts to wrestle with its budget deficit, forecast to be $1.12 billion this fiscal year.
The new tax measures are expected to raise $184 million in new revenue.