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VANCOUVER The provincial government has made good on its promise to tax the sick and the elderly by announcing massive cuts to Pharmacare subsidies with some seniors paying 250 per cent more for drugs.

“If the government takes $90 million out of the pockets of British Columbians what do you call it?” asked CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill following yesterday’s announcement. “A tax increase? Well, no. You call it “Fair Pharmacare Improves Access for BC Families.”

What the government didn’t include in yesterday’s news release is that they are planning to slash provincial spending on drug plans from $702 million to $614 million next year. That was in the fine print from last Tuesday’s budget.

B.C. has changed the way it collects taxes,” O’Neill said. “Progressive income taxes are disappearing to be replaced with fees and charges, and now a tax specifically on the sick.”

The new plan will help some low-income British Columbians. But middle-income earners and retired British Columbians will pay for it. See attached calculations.


Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications, 604-291-1940