BUDGET 2018: Labour to pass increased cost of health onto Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson will be paying several thousand dollars extra in tax next year, in a move that Finance Minister Grant Robertson calls “unfortunate but necessary.”

Mark Richardson will be paying several thousand dollars extra in tax next year, in a move that Finance Minister Grant Robertson calls “unfortunate but necessary.”

In his first budget as Finance Minister, Grant Robertson announced today that the Labour Government will be passing a projected increase in cost of health services onto broadcaster and former cricketer Mark Richardson, citing a lack of willingness to take “a cut in our revenue.”

Starting next financial year, Richardson will be subjected to an exclusive tax on his income, in order to offset a small funding imbalance in health.

“If we weren’t to take this measure, the Government would be losing somewhere between five and six thousand dollars per annum,” said Robertson, in a live Q&A session on Facebook this afternoon. “This is essentially saying, we don’t want to absorb that cost, so if it’s going to cost more, we really have no choice but to pass it on.”

Robertson acknowledged that Richardson would not be happy with the decision.

“I know that Mark was really worried about this budget because his tax is about to go up. Sorry, fella,” he said.

Following those comments, Robertson reportedly received a text message from Richardson, asking if he were serious.

“I am serious about this,” said Robertson. “We’re not going to suffer because people are getting sick. We’re just going to have to hand that cost over. We’re running a Government here, you know.”

Richardson has publicly lashed out at the tax in a Facebook post this evening, in which he called it “unfair” because “I have nothing to do with this. I have nothing to do with this. You can’t pass the cost onto people who have less just because you face additional cost.”

He said it was “especially ridiculous” because “I have nothing to do with the increase in health spending. How can you charge me more for something I have nothing to do with?”

Richardson will raise rent on his tenants, and take back every dollar he ever gave his children in order to cover the cost of the new tax.

Also in this year’s budget:

  • Free GP visits for under 14s and their parents who just get on with it and spend less than 10 minutes in the doctor’s office.
  • $1.6 billion in regional development to replace the $1.6 billion Shane Jones lost after a boozy morning out in Kawakawa.
  • $68 for James Shaw to plant a tree and keep him busy.
  • $200 million on suits for poor and disadvantaged children so they look a bit less poor and disadvantaged.
  • $7,000 on something called “Laphroaig.”