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B.C. budget 2014: 'Boring, balanced budget' MSP premiums, tobacco tax to rise, while first-time homebuyers will get some help

By Jenni Sheppard, CBC News Posted: Feb 18, 2014 2:51 PM PT

(excerpt)..."MSP premiums rise for 6th time: Medical Services Plan premiums will increase by four per cent, taking the cost for the average family up to $144 per month.

Meanwhile, de Jong said, health-care spending will increase $2.5 billion over three years, and will account for 42 per cent of government expenses by 2016-17.

"This is significantly less than would have been the case just a few years ago when health-care budgets were increasing by up to five per cent year on year.

"I'm very pleased with the job the health sector has done, in many ways leading Canada in cost control."

But Rick Turner of the B.C. Health Coalition said the extra money is not enough.

"It will not keep up with demand.... We don't see enough support for seniors, and the time has come to introduce a lot of innovations into the system," Turner said."

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