Pallister’s Proposed Health Tax Would Cost Families Thousands of Dollars Yearly

Premier Brian Pallister’s proposed health tax would cost thousands of dollars a year for most Manitoba families, NDP Health Critic Matt Wiebe said today.

“The premier has broken his word to Manitobans yet again – he is demanding Manitobans either pay thousands more each and every year or accept more massive cuts to our health-care system,” Wiebe said. “That’s not a choice – it’s an admission of failure on the part of the premier. Pallister’s deep cuts, user fees, plans for privatization and now a new tax are turning our health-care system into a two-tier, American-style system where money trumps medical need.”

Wiebe noted the premier promised he wouldn’t raise taxes during the 2016 election campaign, but today he admitted this is a new tax. And despite saying there would be a referendum on new taxes, Pallister also said there would be no referendum for this tax.

“In the fall of 2016 our party introduced a bill to ban health premiums in Manitoba,” Wiebe said. “Every single Tory MLA voted against that bill – their agenda is becoming clearer: it is to force this regressive new tax on all Manitobans.”

Wiebe noted that in 1973, a newly elected NDP government eliminated existing health premiums in Manitoba. Other provinces, notably B.C. and Alberta, are cutting their health taxes, Wiebe added.