WINNIPEG -- Tax relief plans are coming to Manitobans to help ensure financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his news conference Friday morning, Premier Brian Pallister announced the deferral of several provincial fees.

“Hand in hand with securing healthcare supplies for Manitobans is the need to secure financial support for those needing economic relief,” the premier told reporters.

The list of fee deferrals can be found below, and will be in effect until October 1.

• Instructing Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) to not charge interest or penalties in the event that Manitobans are unable to pay at this time;

• Instructing MPI to relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections;

• Instructing Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries not to charge interest on receivables from restaurants, bars and specialty wine stores;

• Supporting the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to do the same and asking WCB to extend relief from penalties for late payments;

• Directing Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas to not disconnect customers during these times; and

• working with municipal partners to ensure municipalities do not charge interest on provincial education taxes and school division fees. The province is encouraging municipalities to do the same with respect to their own taxes and will start discussions to support implementation.

Pallister also announced plans to make insurance more affordable to Manitobans. The province plans to speed up the removal of $75 million of annual PST from residential and business properties, effective July 1. The province said in a news release the move would save an estimated $38 million per year for residential property owners and $37 million for business property owners.

Pallister added the province has deferred provincial income tax and corporate income tax filing deadlines and payments to Aug. 31, with no interest or penalties. The deferral is the same as the federal guidelines for income tax, and Pallister said it could be further extended to Oct. 1, if the federal government decides to do the same.

Pallister said those who are able to pay their taxes right now should still do so.

“It is those bills you pay that allow us to support you with health care, and with the other important services of government,” he said.