Canadians concerned about capital gains tax impact on healthcare

Survey reveals 58% of Canadians oppose capital gains tax changes, fearing negative healthcare effects

Canadians concerned about capital gains tax impact on healthcare

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has commissioned Abacus Data to survey 1,500 Canadian adults from April 30 to May 1 to gauge public reaction to the federal budget released on April 16.

The survey focused on the impacts of the proposed capital gains tax change on access to healthcare, especially family physicians.

About 58 percent of Canadians know about the proposed capital gains tax changes in the recent federal budget. Only one in four support the changes, while 35 percent oppose them, indicating many Canadians are still open to discussion on the proposal.

The survey reveals a common belief that the capital gains tax changes would harm the healthcare system, leading to longer wait times for family physicians and potentially fewer family physicians in practice.

When informed about physician compensation and the potential impacts of these changes, support for reversing or revising the tax changes for healthcare providers running community-based clinics rises to six in ten Canadians.

When given information on the capital gains tax and the proposed changes, about 58 percent of Canadians say they are aware of the proposal in the budget announcement on April 16. Awareness is higher among older Canadians and those familiar with the budget.

Initial reactions are mixed: 24 percent think the proposal is a good idea, another 24 percent think it is okay, 35 percent oppose it, and 18 percent are unsure.

When asked about possible outcomes, 29 percent want the federal government to reverse the proposal entirely, 20 percent want an exemption for healthcare providers running community-based medical clinics, and 20 percent want the proposed changes passed.

Seven percent do not care either way, and 24 percent are unsure.

After learning about the CMA’s concerns, respondents widely believe the tax changes would negatively impact the healthcare system and access to primary care providers and specialists.

Between 54 and 64 percent of Canadians think the changes would likely lead to longer wait lists for family physicians, fewer physicians entering family practice, or family physicians leaving their practices.

Wait times are a top concern, with 29 percent saying the changes will definitely result in longer wait lists for family physicians. Only about one in five Canadians believe these outcomes are unlikely.

After receiving additional context on physician compensation and retirement models in Canada, respondents were asked again about their support or opposition to the proposed changes.

Thirty-three percent want the proposal reversed entirely (up four percentage points), 28 percent want exemptions for healthcare providers running community-based clinics (up eight percentage points), and 16 percent want the proposal passed by Parliament (down four percentage points).

Seventy-six percent of Canadians with an opinion on the policy proposal would like the government to reverse the proposed tax change in some form, including exemptions for healthcare providers running community-based clinics.

A minority of Canadians support moving forward with the proposed capital gains tax changes, as concerns grow about the impact on healthcare quality and access.

According to Abacus Data, the survey indicates that many Canadians are wary of the implications of this tax change on healthcare access and capacity. Healthcare remains a top issue in Canada, second only to the cost of living and inflation, with access to care being one of the biggest challenges.

Many Canadians believe the changes will likely result in fewer physicians, including family physicians, and are concerned about the potential negative impact on the healthcare system.