By Derek Lothian, CEO, Insurance Brokers’ Association of Saskatchewan
Earlier this week, Premier Scott Moe announced the Government of Saskatchewan will be reinstating the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) exemption on agricultural (crop, hail, and livestock), life, and health insurance premiums, retroactive to August 1, 2017.
While P&C and automotive coverages will still be subject to the PST, Monday’s declaration is an important step in the right direction to ensuring consumers, business owners, and farmers can protect themselves — and those they care about — affordably, with the right insurance.
Agriculture in particular is a primary driver of the provincial economy; and reducing farmers’ tax burden — which, for some, can creep well beyond $100,000 annually — is good for everyone, leaving more disposable income to upgrade equipment, purchase new vehicles, invest in land, or simply save for a rainy day (when facing such challenges as lower production yields, softened commodity prices, and rising input costs).
Families and small businesses, meanwhile, will benefit from the elimination of the PST on life and health premiums through better access to enhanced coverages and reduced deductibles.
Moving forward, however, there is still much work to do be done.
The Insurance Brokers’ Association of Saskatchewan (IBAS) continues to call on the government to conduct a full review exploring the potential short- and long-term impact that the taxation of insurance has on consumers, business competitiveness, and the public services system. Evidence-based decision-making must be central in returning to and sustaining a balanced budget.
IBAS also strongly encourages the Province to work closely with brokers, insurers, and other stakeholder groups to ensure the reimbursement process for PST paid from August 1, 2017, onward is executed in the most simple, efficient, and business-friendly manner possible.
Affordable, quality insurance is a cornerstone of economic prosperity. We thank Premier Moe and his cabinet for engaging with IBAS on this vital issue, including through the leadership campaign, and we look forward to collaborating with this government further in the months ahead.
Derek can be reached at (306) 380-3765 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.