This April Fools’ Day the joke is on taxpayers

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation remind Canadians that the higher prices on gas and alcohol, which kick in today, are unfortunately not an elaborate April Fools’ Day joke, but the new reality.

“Whether driving to work or unwinding at home with a cold beer, you’ll be paying more starting today,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “It may be the cruelest April Fools’ prank of all, because squeezing family budgets is no joke!”

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The new federal carbon tax of $20 per tonne of CO2 emissions, which will apply in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan, will increase the cost of gasoline by 4.4 cents per litre and the cost of diesel by 6.4 cents per litre. By 2022, the federal government will charge 11 cents per litre on gasoline and 16 cents per litre for diesel.

The federal escalator tax on beer, wine and spirits means that excise taxes on those products rise automatically each year, with no need for annual Parliamentary approval. As a result, Canadians will pay an additional $193 million in alcohol taxes over the next three years.

“The escalator tax on alcohol sets a terrible precedent for tax-weary Canadians,” said Wudrick. “Tax hikes should never be automatic. If politicians want to try to hike them, they should be transparent about it, and face the music in Parliament.”

Wudrick noted that Canadians are increasingly feeling affordability anxiety and that tax hikes will only make the problem worse.

“Many Canadian families are already stretched to the limit; gouging them for more is about the worst thing governments can do,” said Wudrick. “Instead, they should help increase affordability by finding ways to leave more money in their pockets.”

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