EDMONTON, AB: The NDP government is being dishonest with families and businesses about the full cost of the new carbon tax that will hit families with at least $1,000 in extra costs when fully implemented, the Wildrose Official Opposition said (Monday).
The NDP rebate program is only designed to cover average increases on natural gas and fuel costs for Albertans making under $51,000 or families making less than $95,000. This ignores the many increased costs the tax will force on all Albertans through higher power bills, more expensive groceries and more expensive consumer goods.
More than three quarters of revenues generated by the carbon tax will go directly to new government spending, while well over a third of Albertans will receive zero compensation for the new costs associated with the carbon tax.
According to an analysis in the Canadian Tax Journal, a $30 per tonne carbon tax will increase consumer costs to things like electricity by 7.5 per cent, food by 2 per cent, furnishings by 1.9 per cent and shelter by 1.2 per cent. Using average household spending from Statistics Canada, this means an estimate of hundreds of dollars in new costs to Albertans completely ignored by the NDP’s partial rebate program.
|Total Expenditure||2014 cost||With $30/carbon tax ($)||Annual increase|
|Household furnishings & equipment||$2359||$2403.82||$44.82|
|Clothing & accessories||$4378||$4443.67||$65.67|
|Purchase of automobiles, vans & trucks||$6386||$6494.56||$108.56|
|Maintenance & repairs of vehicles||$1342||$1364.81||$22.81|
|Water & electricity||$2178||$2297.29||$119.29|
*While Alberta’s generators are already paying for emissions through the SGER, this analysis does not include the other increases coming to Alberta’s electricity grid, such as climbing transmission costs or the full costs and impacts of accelerated coal shut down.
For any family that might qualify for a rebate, the increase in direct and indirect costs means they are still likely to lose out on $500 to $700 or more per year because of the new NDP carbon tax.
The NDP has not addressed the likely property tax increases that will flow from the increased costs to municipalities for transportation, heat, power and general inflation, like the $6.5 million estimated for the City of Calgary.
“This carbon tax will hit every single family hard in their pocket books and increase costs for businesses at a time they can least afford it,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “This tax will cost the typical household at least $1,000 per year, but the NDP government insists on being dishonest about the full and far reaching impacts this, and other policy decisions they are making, will have. It’s just the wrong choice to make for our economy and jobs at a time when families and businesses are being forced to squeeze every penny.”
The government also recently increased the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation creating upheaval in Alberta’s electricity grid while setting the groundwork for a massive 50 per cent increase to Alberta’s minimum wage.
“The NDP government is just making things worse at a time when over 80,000 Albertans have recently lost work,” Jean said. “A government should be there to protect Alberta’s interests when people are suffering, but instead the NDP are forcing through a risky agenda that is piling on to an already bad situation.”