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Manitoba mulls new health-care tax

Manitoba mulls new health-care tax
From CBC - September 13, 2017

The Manitoba government is considering introducing a health-care tax that residents would have to pay based on income.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday morning.

The government said health-care premiums could help Manitoba maintain its level of care in the wake of changes to the rate at which federal health transfers will go up over the next several years.

Last year, Ottawa announced the Canada Health Transfer would increase by three per cent, down from the six per cent increases the provinces had been receiving.

While initially unhappy with the change, eachprovince eventually signed on to a federal health-care deal. Last month, Manitoba became the final province to sign on, ending a standoff with the feds over health-care funding.

The deal will see Manitoba get three per cent annual increases to the Canada Health Transfer and $399.6 million over 10 years for mental-health and home-care services.

Pallister says compared to the old model, the cash Ottawa is offering leaves Manitoba short $2 billion over 10 years,and asking Manitobansto pay premiums on health carecould make up for that shortfall.

"It's most certainly a tax increase, there's no doubt of that, and I do not think we should couch it in any way different from that,"Pallistersaid.

'Absolutely terrible situation': NDP

The province is askingManitobansto weigh in on the plan for premiums througha new online survey.Also in the survey are questions about theupcoming legalization of pot.

NDP health critic Matt Wiebe called the choice the government is giving Manitobans"an absolutely terrible situation."

Wo not hold referendum on tax

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