EDITORIAL: Talking directly about carbon taxes

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Since these are serious times that require serious solutions to serious problems, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals should stop claiming that their carbon tax is making 80% of the people who pay it richer.

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Yves Giroux, Parliament’s independent, impartial budget officer, has reported that taking into account the negative impact of the carbon tax on the economy, 60% of people who pay Trudeau’s carbon tax directly β€” those in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba live – are poorer.

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That means that the carbon tax credits they receive do not cover the higher cost of paying the carbon tax.

The PBO says the average household already pays hundreds of dollars more a year than it gets in rebates, a cost that will increase as carbon taxes rise each year.

Other than that, Trudeau’s claim doesn’t pass the odor test. A tax that makes most people richer? Seriously?

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The reality is this. To tackle climate change, it says, the Trudeau administration has imposed a national minimum or “backstop” price on industrial greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2019.

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This affects all Canadians – not just those living in the four provinces who pay carbon tax directly.

Others have federally approved carbon pricing mechanisms.

Trudeau’s floor price for emissions started at $20 per tonne in 2019, is now $50 per tonne and is rising 20% ​​to $60 per tonne on April 1, heading to $170 per tonne by 2030.

If governments charge something that has never been debited before, someone has to pay it.

In Canada, we all pay, either as taxpayers in higher taxes or as consumers in higher retail prices, because almost all goods and services are made using fossil energy.

Contrary to Trudeau’s claim, it is not vaguely defined “polluters” who pay these higher costs.

According to government logic, we are the polluters because we create demand for goods and services that generate emissions.

But CO2 pricing, unlike, for example, taxes on alcohol and tobacco, increases the cost of essentials, such as heating your home or driving to work.

So yes, it’s time to consider serious solutions to serious problems, including suspending carbon prices at a time of high inflation that is reducing the purchasing power of Canadian households.

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