2019 British Columbia Budget SubmissionRelease Date: 10/15/2018 Staff Reference: Sarah Hobbs
October 15, 2018
Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services
c/o Parliamentary Committees Office
Room 224, Parliament Buildings
Please find enclosed a submission from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) providing input to your deliberations on the forthcoming provincial Budget.
Canada's life and health insurers play a key role in providing a social safety net to British Columbians. We protect over 70% of British Columbians through a wide variety of life, health, and pension products. The industry pays more than $10 billion in benefits to British Columbians each year. The industry also plays a strong role in supporting the province’s economy. Nearly 17,000 British Columbians work within the sector (as employees or independent agents). The industry is also a major investor in the province with $89 billion in assets, providing an important source of stable capital for the provincial government and businesses. Canadian life insurers contributed almost $220 million in provincial taxes to the government for the 2017 calendar year.
The industry supports the province’s plan to make life more affordable for British Columbians and to create a strong, sustainable economy throughout the province. To enhance the province’s policy goals, this submission recommends that the Government:
- Ensure British Columbians have access to affordable prescription drugs by supporting workplace drug plans that currently provide millions of British Columbians with comprehensive access to essential medicines and by working with our industry to coordinate efforts to bring down costs through bulk-buying and enhance access to high cost medicines when needed;
- Leverage our industry’s investment capacity in order to expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects, allowing British Columbia to modernize its infrastructure and make the economy more productive and competitive;
- Refrain from increasing taxes on life and health insurance premiums that are ultimately borne by B.C. consumers; and
- Continue to make investments to mitigate the effects of climate change and to continue to work with the life and health insurance industry on this issue.
The CLHIA appreciates the opportunity to contribute to British Columbia’s budget consultation process. If you require any further information on these matters, my colleagues and I are at your disposal.
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