moved for leave to introduce Bill C-598, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (no GST on batteries for medical and assistive devices).
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce a bill that would remove the federal sales tax from the purchase of batteries used in medical equipment or devices.
James McAllister is a senior in Vancouver Kingsway. He is living in a city with a high cost of living. He has medical expenses, and these include the purchase of batteries for essential medical devices. He was shocked that he had to pay tax on his medically necessary purchases.
There is an important principle reflected in our current law that sales taxes should not be charged on products that are essential for health and well-being. The initial purchase of medical devices, including the battery, is currently tax exempt, however, tax is charged on replacement batteries for these medically necessary devices.
Ending the sales tax on replacement batteries would fix an important oversight in our tax laws. The cost to taxpayers for this exemption will be slight, but would have a significant positive impact on many low income seniors in my community and across the country.
This is particularly important given that the HST in British Columbia has raised prices on other medically necessary purchases, including vitamins and over-the-counter medications.
As members of Parliament, we should all be in our communities talking to our constituents, hearing their concerns and proposing legislation to address their real concerns. I hope I can count on the support of all parties for this bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)