2019 Nova Scotia Budget SubmissionRelease Date: 12/17/2018 Staff Reference: Sarah Hobbs
December 17, 2018
The Honourable Karen Casey
Minister of Finance and Treasury Board
Department of Finance
7th Floor, Provincial Building
1723 Hollis Street
P.O. Box 187
Halifax, NS B3J 2N3
Please find enclosed a submission from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) providing input to your deliberations on the forthcoming provincial Budget.
Canada's life and health insurers play a key role in providing a social safety net to Nova Scotians. We protect over 75% of Nova Scotians through a wide variety of life, health, and retirement income products. The industry paid over $2.4 billion ($46 million a week) in benefits to Nova Scotians in 2017. The industry also plays a strong role in supporting the province’s economy. Over 3,000 Nova Scotians work within the sector (as employees or independent agents). The industry is also a major investor in the province with more than $20 billion in assets, providing an important source of stable capital for the provincial government and businesses. Canadian life insurers contributed nearly $60 million in provincial taxes to the government for the 2017 calendar year.
The industry commends the province’s move toward fiscal sustainability in order to protect its ability to invest in key priorities, such as health care. To enhance the province’s policy goals, this submission recommends that the Government:
- Ensure that residents of Nova Scotia have access to affordable prescription drugs by supporting workplace drug plans that currently provide millions of Nova Scotians with comprehensive access to essential medicines and by working with our industry to coordinate efforts to bring down costs through bulk-buying and enhancing access to high cost medicines when needed;
- Leverage our industry’s investment capacity in order to expand and accelerate long-term infrastructure projects, allowing Nova Scotia to modernize its infrastructure and make the economy more productive and competitive;
- Reduce and ultimately eliminate the premium tax on life, health and disability insurance premiums as fiscal circumstances permit; and
- Support investment in mitigating climate change and working with the life and health insurance industry on this issue.
The CLHIA appreciates the opportunity to contribute to Nova Scotia’s budget consultation process. If you require any further information on these matters, my colleagues and I are at your disposal.
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