Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Friday, January 30, 2004

Elimination of HealthCare Premiums for All Albertans 

Dear Mr. Klein:

As a follow-up to an earlier e-mail, as retired Albertans and on behalf of the Seniors Action and Liaison Team, we wish to suggest ten reasons why Albertans deserve meaningful tax relief through the elimination of Health Care Premiums:

1. Albertans will then join those Canadians resident in eight other provinces and the territories where Health Care Premiums do not exist.

2. As you have acknowledged publicly, Alberta is in a net debt-free financial position. Statistics Canada recently confirmed this and further reported that, as of March 31, 2003, Alberta is the only province enjoying a net-worth per capita financial position of $2,942.

3. Government estimates of a surplus of well over $2 billion for the first quarter of the current fiscal year could well result in a surplus in excess of $5 billion by the end of this fiscal year. Further, the Sustainability Fund would not be at risk as recently released figures show that fund is well ahead of schedule and will require fewer resources in future years.

4. Eliminating Health Care Premiums will also eliminate the costs of collecting those premiums – costs that have been estimated at $19 million annually.

5. Elimination of the current $4 billion plus debt, which may take place during our centennial year, will result in future savings of the 3% of budgetary expenditures for interest costs.

6. Eliminating Health Care Premiums will provide the most visible tax relief and will benefit every Albertan. Seniors, who lost many of their universal support programs, will rejoice in no longer having to pay Health Care Premiums.

7. Eliminating Health Care Premiums eliminates a regressive tax, one that particularly impacts low and middle-income Albertans. It will also yield significant benefits with respect to employment, savings and investments that will ultimately result in higher rates of economic growth.

8. Eliminating Health Care Premiums will also eliminate the inequitable situation in which some Albertans pay these premiums from their earnings and also contribute to the taxes that pay the premiums of Alberta’s provincial employees including nurses, teachers, Members of the Legislative Assembly, along with municipal employees and elected officials.

9. Eliminating Health Care Premiums will win your government as many or more votes as the electricity rebates before the 2001 election.

10. Historians will record the elimination of Health Care Premiums as a pre-centennial tax relief affecting every Albertan, a significant legacy of your government in its centennial celebrations.

Mr. Premier, can we count on your government eliminating this highly visible tax? We believe such action makes sense economically, politically and in the interests of fairness.

We are sending copies of this letter to other seniors groups and will post this letter and your response on the Ralph's World website.

We look forward to your early reply.

Most sincerely,

Michael Marlowe
John Mathewson
Seniors Action and Liaison Team

This is a copy of our letter sent to Premier Klein January 30, 2004. As is our custom we will publish the Premier's response when it is received. For a review of the Premier's responses to our previous communications click here.

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