Rising fees for essentials are cutting deep

Looking ahead to 2016 shows us that the provincial government has seen fit to give raises. Raises in fees, that is.

Looking ahead to 2016 shows us that the provincial government has seen fit to give raises. Raises in fees, that is. Sorry folks.

Your BC Hydro fees, ICBC and MSP fees are all heading up as we head into the new year.

According to Black Press’s Tom Fletcher MSP premiums will rise from $144 to $150 for a family of three earning more than $30,000 a year, and a single person will pay $75, up from $72.

Interesting fact to take note of: B.C. is the only province in Canada with a health care fee, and it has risen about 40 per cent since 2010.

That’s appalling. And our health care coverage in this province isn’t even the best to be had in this country. In other province’s health care covers vision care as well.

Many of us were already preparing for Hydro rates to continue to climb, and climb they will.

And then there’s the increasing expense of driving

Basis insurance went up 5.5 per cent on Nov. 1. ICBC says it’s all about the increasingly costs of personal injury claims and fraud.

What makes the increases in these three charges on our ledgers so tough is that we have no choice.

We don’t get to choose whether or not we’re going to get health care. We are not arguing that people should be able to opt out, universal care is not only near and dear to our hearts, it is vital to our country’s continued collective well being. But we should not be paying individual fees. The other provinces seem to be able to make such a thing work. Heck, we’d like to see dental care included in our universal care system — dental health seriously affects overall physical health. What we don’t want to see is people taking food off the table to pay their MSP premiums.

Then there’s Hydro, which, it can be argued, is an essential service, not a choice for most people.

Keeping the lights and heat running, and the refrigerator working are not things to be taken lightly, nor are they really luxuries. Forcing people to cut deeper and deeper into their income is just plain wrong.

Even driving is something over which most people have very little option.

It’s death to many people’s budgets — and their lives — by a thousand cuts.