To the editor:
I couldn’t agree more with your editorial in the Aug. 28 Capital News (ICBC Bungled by the Liberals). It mirrors my e- mails to (NDP leader) Adrian Dix, (B.C. Premier) Christy Clark, (former B.C. finance minister) Kevin Falcon and our three local MLAs (Steve Thomson, Norm Letnick and Ben Stewart). The only answer I received was from a clerk in the Ministry of Finance which didn’t address my questions.
My emails included reference to the $750 million that was transferred to General Revenue over a three year period.
They claim the money is surplus from “optional insurance” premiums. Why not use it to cover “basic” insurance premium shortfalls? Don’t increase our premiums by 11 per cent.
If I have a surplus in my food budget I would use it to cover a deficit in my utilities, home repair, etc. budget, not give it away!
The Manitoba equivalent to ICBC apparently has it written in their mandate to return surplus funds to the policy holders. My premiums are approximately 50 per cent of what ICBC charges for the same “optional” coverage.
I have 45 years (driving) experience and ICBC’s maximum discount. My broker indicated ICBC’s next move was to look at penalizing those of us who obtain “optional coverage” from other providers. Most people don’t realize you can get free, no-obligation quotes from any of them.
Both the Liberals and NDP use ICBC and Lotto BC (the latter originally set up where surplus funds were to go for hospitals and health in general) as cash cows. To get their funds elsewhere like increasing sales tax or insisting on user-pay would certainly not get them any political points. It’s much easier to rely on the hidden taxes and hope people don’t notice.
My biggest concern is that both parties preach “open government” yet neither will admit the indirect taxation or offer viable alternatives.
The funding has to come from somewhere. Just be open about it.