Budget gets thumbs up from Seniors Advocate

Hospital Employees’ Union and B.C. Nurses’ Union also voice approval

Sandra Thomas / Vancouver Courier
February 20, 2018
The Seniors Advocate for B.C. calls the 2018 provincial budget announced today by B.C. Finance Minister Carol James a good one for seniors.

Isobel Mackenzie, who heads up the Office of the Seniors Advocate, told the Courier Tuesday afternoon that it’s seniors who will likely benefit most from the announced elimination of Medical Services Plan premiums by 2020 to be replaced by a payroll health tax for businesses.

Mackenzie also welcomed news that low-income seniors will benefit from an increase to the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program and Rental Assistance Program. The province is pledging $116 million over three years to the program and raising the ceiling to include those who have annual household incomes of $40,000 up from $35,000.

The advocate is particularly pleased with a promise to increase care hours for seniors living at home and in residential facilities. Funding of $548 million over three years has been committed to improve care for seniors. 
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