Quebec's new budget

Posted by Saraline , Wednesday, March 31, 2010 11:43 AM

"Quebecers can look forward to paying a new 'health contribution' and a 15-per-cent sales tax in 2012 under the budget Finance Minister Raymond Bachand brought down yesterday. [...]
Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois pointed out that in the 2008 election campaign, Premier Jean Charest gave no hint of higher taxes, fees and hydro rates to come.
'The government is going to pick the pocket of Quebecers,' she said."

The budget includes:

-four annual fuel-tax increases (Montreal and Quebec City are also authorized to add a fuel-tax increase)
-a new "health contribution" ($25 per doctor visit this July and $200 by 2012) with a ceiling of 1% per taxable income
-an increase of the price of electricity by 1 cent a kilowatt-hour
-increase in tuition funds in 2012 (it has not yet been determined how much they will increase)
-frozen salaries for two years for Premier Jean Charest, his ministers and MNAs, and managers in the public sector
-a 25% cut in advertising, training, and travel spending
-the possibility of eliminating 28 government agencies
-an increase from $3.50 to $5.50 to visit a provincial park

Can you guess which of these things is rubbing me the wrong way? I don't care about the increase in fuel tax or paying $5.50 to visit a provincial park. $5.50 doesn't seem like that much. I understand that Quebec has a lot of social programs and that the money to fund these programs needs to come from somewhere. But $200 per doctor visit seems like an awful lot and 2012 doesn't seem to be very far away. Are we living in a land of free health care or not?

I suppose it's nice that the Quebec government is attempting to pacify it's citizens by freezing Charest's salary for two years, because he's not going to be earning less money while Quebecers are paying more now, is he? I'd also like to know which 28 government agencies are at risk of being cut.

Edited to add a correction: The $200 health contribution would be annual, not per visit. The $25 would be per visit with a ceiling of 1% taxable income. I am still unimpressed.

3 Response to "Quebec's new budget"

ncbeets Says:

wow, this is shocking indeed.
isn't our 30% income tax enough of a contribution?
not as if anyone can even find a doctor anyway, now we've got to pay up to $300 per visit in 2013. this is ridiculous.
time to leave the province, perhaps..

Anonymous Says:

I think it's actually $200 a year and $25 a visit, but still, way to go universal health care.

Although, if it somehow results in us being able to find a GP taking patients in the Outaouais, I'd give him half marks.

lagatta à montréal Says:

ncbeets, leave Québec for Ontario, where electricity and school fees are higher?

(Not to mention my annoyance with a certain type of anglophone who always refers to QC as "the province", as if its name is too painful or something...).

I was there at the demo against the budget, as were thousands of other people.