More than 78 per cent of people in Saskatchewan oppose the government’s decision to charge PST on insurance premiums, according to a poll commissioned by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The Insightrix poll found 55 per cent of respondents were strongly opposed to PST being charged on insurance premiums, while 23.6 per cent were somewhat opposed.

Another 12.5 per cent said they somewhat support the move, and only 2.4 per cent strongly supported the decision. The remaining 6.6 per cent said they were not sure.

“People in Saskatchewan are sending a clear message: it’s a mistake to charge the PST on insurance premiums,” Todd MacKay, Prairie director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said in a news release Wednesday.

“Premier Brad Wall has always said he’ll fix mistakes and charging PST on insurance premiums is a big mistake that needs to be fixed.”

The survey also asked “how will your household change its insurance purchasing plans once PST is charged on all insurance premiums?”

Just over 20 per cent of those surveyed said they would reduce their insurance coverage by, for instance, downgrading their home insurance coverage or purchasing less crop insurance.

Another 13.8 per cent said they would stop renewing some of their insurance policies, such as cancelling a package policy on a vehicle. More than 48 per cent of respondents said their household wouldn’t change its insurance purchasing plans, while 25.4 per cent were not sure.

“Charging the PST on insurance comes with an obvious risk,” said MacKay.

“Hitting premiums with the PST will run up insurance costs by hundreds of dollars for families and thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for farmers and small businesses. More than a third of Saskatchewanians say they’ll have to reduce coverage or stop renewing some policies and that means people will have less protection when bad things happen.”

The federation says the province already collects $150 million through taxes on insurance premiums, and that charging PST will add more than $200 million in new costs for Saskatchewan residents.

The poll surveyed 802 randomly selected SaskWatch Research panel members online from July 12 through 14. Quotas were set by age, gender and region to match the general population of the province. Since the research was conducted online, it is considered to be a non-probability proportion sample, so margins of error are not applicable.