MONCTON, N.B. – The leader of New Brunswick’s New Democratic Party says introducing a health-care levy as a way to fund the health system is a “terrible idea”.

Finance minister Blaine Higgs raised the possibility of a levy in a pre-budget meeting in Moncton on Monday night and asked for feedback from taxpayers.

Dominic Cardy tells McLean in the Morning that a health levy would be redundant.

“There are levies on health-care in New Brunswick for New Brunswickers and they’re called our taxes.  So, why would we set up a whole new bureaucracy to collect this levy when all we’re really doing is allowing the Tories to get off the hook so they can claim that they haven’t increased taxes which seems to be what they’re desperate to do right now.”

Cardy says the minister’s priority should be finding efficiencies and eliminating waste within government rather than creating veiled tax hikes.

New Brunswick’s 2013-2014 budget will be released in March.