NDP Leader Rachel Notley calls health care premiums a regressive tax

EDMONTON – Today NDP Leader Rachel Notley called health care premiums regressive and called on the PCs to implement a fair taxation that would have every Albertan pay their fair share.

“Health care premiums would certainly hit vulnerable Albertans the hardest. Before the province even considers reintroducing them, our flat tax system needs to be fixed. We are the only province in the country that still relies on this method that forces middle income Albertans to shoulder a disproportionate amount of the financial burden,” said Notley.

Notley’s comments come after Finance Minister, Robin Campbell announced the PCs are strongly considering reintroducing the health care premiums that were eliminated in 2009.

“This is another example of the PCs making regular, hard-working Albertans pay for the government’s mistakes. Forcing Albertans to pay health care premiums directly- as the PCs have proposed- would be a very clear shift from corporate Alberta on to individual Albertans,” said Notley.

“The Premier is proving once again that he is out of touch with what Albertans want and what Alberta families need moving forward.”

Dear Friends,

In response to low oil prices, Premier Jim Prentice announced that he won’t even consider reversing the generous tax cuts that the PC’s gave to large, profitable corporations.

Meanwhile, he is asking ordinary Albertans like you to pay for it –  he’s cutting public services like healthcare and education and he’s going to tax you by bringing back healthcare premiums.

That means families will pay more, and get less – and it means big banks will continue to enjoy the lowest tax rates in Canada.

I think this is wrong.

I’ve been visiting regions of the province, from north to south, and I’m hearing from more and more people about the pressures on their family budgets.  One thing that so many say is that “Everybody has to pay their fair share.”  Albertans don’t understand the premier’s decision to maintain corporate tax cuts at a time when they are being told to pay more.  I don’t understand his decision either.

What we do know is that billions and billions of dollars have gone to these large corporations.  I believe they can pay a bit more, especially when we have no sales tax and many other low taxes that also help these corporations.  We can be competitive in our tax structures without giving the banks and other companies a free ride. We should all pay our fair share.

We need to make a fair tax system and protecting public services the priorities.  Not building up the bottom line for banks.

I look forward to hearing from you on this important issue.


Rachel Notley
Leader, Alberta’s NDP Opposition