MLA Letnick on what the B.C. budget means for the Okanagan

published on February 22, 2017 by Dylan McCullough in Kelowna Now

B.C. residents are still digesting the 2017 provincial budget, which was released by the B.C. Government yesterday afternoon.

Finance Minister Michael De Jong said the 2017 budget is the fifth consecutive balanced one, but what does that mean for Kelowna residents?

In an interview with KelownaNow, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country Norm Letnick said the Okanagan will see multiple benefits from this year’s budget including better opportunities for first-time home buyers, tax breaks for families and post-secondary students as well as more support for youth dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues.

The big news that came with the 2017 provincial budget was that Medical Service Premiums (MSP) will be cut in half by 2018.

“This is a big one for me, I was elected eight years ago and have been advocating for MSP elimination since,” said Kelowna-Lake Country Norm Letnick.

“Before I decided to run I was doing a PhD in Health Economics and everything told me that, if we could afford it, eliminating MSP would be a priority to get changed.”

While the cuts will not eliminate MSP premiums entirely like in other provinces, the average family of four should be able to save up to $900 annually if they have a net income of under $120,000 on MSP premiums, which will be cut in half starting 2018.

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