Through Budget 2019, the Provincial Government is providing tax relief and reducing costs for residents across the province. Budget 2019 includes no tax or fee increases, and government is taking the additional step of eliminating the Retail Sales Tax (RST) on automobile insurance. This change will be implemented by early July and will be retroactive to April 16, 2019. Those who renew their insurance between now and July will receive a rebate for the RST payment on their insurance.
Government will amend the Income and Employment Support Regulations to exempt payments from child support, Canada Pension Plan Disabled Contributor’s Benefit, and Canada Pension Plan Surviving Child Benefit for the purpose of determining eligibility for Income Support.
In partnership with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, government is introducing a one-year, $1 million Heat Pump Rebate Program in 2019-20 to assist homeowners in increasing the energy efficiency of their homes. Through this pilot program, up to 1,000 Homeowners can receive a grant of $1,000 toward the purchase and installation of an eligible heat pump.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Income Supplement and Seniors’ Benefit support low income seniors, individuals, families, and persons with disabilities. In 2018, approximately 155,000 families received the Income Supplement and approximately 47,000 seniors and their families received the Seniors’ Benefit. In 2019-20 government is continuing to provide these valuable programs with a total investment of $123 million.
This year government is also reducing passenger vehicle licensing fees for senior citizens and military veterans. For seniors, the current fees will be reduced to $99 for counter service and to $89 for online service. For veterans the current licensing fees will be further reduced by 10 per cent for counter service and online registration.
Quote “Our government is committed to supporting consumers and residents of the province by continuously evaluating our taxes to find the balance between our revenue needs and the affordability of living here. We have committed to reducing taxes as we are able, and the removal of the tax on automobile insurance will have a positive impact on the majority of people in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Tom Osborne Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board
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Learn More Budget 2019 - gov.nl.ca/budget2019
Media contact Marc Budgell Finance 709-729-2477, 689-0430 firstname.lastname@example.org
Changes to the Automobile Insurance Act and the Insurance Companies Act will receive second reading in the House of Assembly today. The changes are intended to help stabilize insurance rates while enhancing consumer protection to benefit the people of the province.
Some of the key changes to the legislation include an increase in the deductible from $2,500 to $5,000 for bodily injury claims; introduction of treatment protocols for common injuries as the primary payer; no access to the Uninsured Automobile Fund for losses by uninsured motorists; direct compensation for property damage; requirement for insurance companies to notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles of the cancellation or expiration of insurance policies; and changes to procedural rules for motor vehicle collision claims.
Proposed amendments will also provide a mandated insurance discount for winter tire usage, implementation of underwriting guidelines concerning the optional use of telematics, and changes to the rate setting process.
The proposed amendments can be found in the backgrounder below.
In addition, as part of Budget 2019 the Provincial Government will eliminate the remaining tax on automobile insurance. More details will be provided on Budget Day.
There are also other changes to be implemented that are part of the Provincial Government’s suite of measures to stabilize insurance rates that do not require changes to auto insurance legislation, including permitting electronic proof of auto insurance and plate-to-owner program.
The proposed amendments are the result of feedback received through the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities’ independent review of the automobile insurance system, as well as public consultations in the spring of 2018 on government’s EngageNL website, and consultations with stakeholders such as the insurance industry, legal community, the Consumer Advocate and the taxi industry.
Recognizing that driver behaviours also play a role in helping stabilize insurance rates, the Provincial Government is committed to highway safety and continually updates the Highway Traffic Act to keep current with safety practices.
A number of recent changes to the Highway Traffic Act include enhanced move-over provisions; changes to reflect the legalization of cannabis; introduction of a one-metre rule; strengthened distracted driving rules, excessive speeding and street racing provisions; as well as penalties for stunting. Changes were also made to the Act to deter impaired driving including mandatory ignition interlocks, impoundment of vehicles and zero tolerance for novice drivers and drivers under age 22.
“Our number one priority during the automobile insurance review has always been the consumers of Newfoundland and Labrador. When we initiated the review, our goal was to identify opportunities to keep rates as low as possible and help bring stability to the industry. We recognize that we cannot provide a single quick fix for the high insurance rates in our province but, together, the amendments we have introduced today will help achieve our objective.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Service NL
“The amendments strike a balance between stabilizing insurance rates for the consumer while maintaining access to justice for victims. I want to thank the Public Utilities Board for their comprehensive report that contributed greatly to the first significant review of auto insurance in almost 15 years.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General
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It's time to get your THINK ON! The YBNL are hosting a Trivia Night and want you to be a part of the fun! Teams will compete in a battle of wits for prizes and bragging rights. Our trivia host will guide teams through the evening, and we have plenty of snacks and prizes for our attendees!
WHEN: March 21, 2019
WHERE: The Sundance, 33 New Gower St. St. John's
TIME: Registration at 6:30pm; trivia starts promptly at 7:00pm
COST: $25/per person ( includes trivia and snacks! )
To register, please CLICK HERE
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