Make hospital parking tax-free, says Flaherty

An ambulance arrives at the General Hospital in Ottawa in this Jan. 21, 2014 file photo. (Tony...

An ambulance arrives at the General Hospital in Ottawa in this Jan. 21, 2014 file photo. (Tony Caldwell/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:00 PM ET

OTTAWA - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty issued a prescription Friday to alleviate some of the financial pain of going to a hospital.

Flaherty announced proposed amendments to the Excise Tax Act to provide an exemption from the GST or HST for parking for patients and visitors.

"We want to give Canadians a break on the cost of hospital parking when they visit a hospital either for their own health-care needs or to support a family member or friend requiring health care," he said in a statement.

"We expect that hospitals will pass these savings on to their patients and visitors, reducing the cost of hospital parking."

Health Minister Rona Ambrose welcomed the tax break.

"Our government is committed to helping make it easier for Canadians to seek care or visit loved ones," she said.

The changes are expected to be adopted by the spring.


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