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Pay raises for politicians and tax hikes for the rest of us

Posted on April 20, 2023 by Vauxhall Advance

The divide between Ottawa’s pampered political class and the everyday taxpayers who fund them is getting wider and deeper by the second.

Albertans are now paying more to heat their homes, buy groceries and to get to work – thanks to the Trudeau government’s carbon tax hikes. This kick in the wallet happened on the same day that members of Parliament took another pay raise.

On April 1, the carbon tax went up to 14 cents per litre of gas, 17 cents per litre of diesel and 12 cents per cubic metre of natural gas.

Filling up a minivan will cost an extra $10 and a pick-up truck will run you about $16 more at the pumps thanks to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax.

Filling up the diesel cylinders on a big rig truck will cost about $154 extra. Many items are also on a train for part of the supply line journey, and locomotives use tdiesel, costing about $2,460 extra per fill-up.

As nearly everything we eat and use is moved by trains and trucks, increasing the cost of diesel through carbon taxes makes nearly everything more expensive.

Farmers are currently charged the carbon tax on the natural gas and propane they use to dry grain. The carbon tax on these fuels will cost farmers $1 billion through 2030, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. And when it cost farmers more to produce food, it cost families more to buy that food at the store.

The good news is that a private members’ bill to remove the carbon tax from fuels used in grain dryers has made its way to the Senate.

Albertans can also be relieved that we aren’t paying provincial fuel taxes at our pumps at all right now. Premier Danielle Smith suspended the 13 cent per litre fuel tax on both gasoline and diesel, which helps take some of the sting out of Trudeau’s carbon tax hikes.

Heating our homes cost us more because of the federal carbon tax, too. Based on average use, the newly jacked-up carbon tax will cost the average household about $300 extra per year due to the carbon tax on natural gas, propane and home furnace oil.

All in, the carbon tax will cost the average Alberta family $710 this year even after the rebates, according to the PBO. That could buy a couple weeks’ worth of groceries. But the feds are taxing that money away.

By 2030, the carbon tax will cost the average family $2,773 after the rebates every single year.

On the same day that the carbon tax was jacked-up, politicians in Ottawa took their fourth pay raise since COVID-19 touched down.

The raise for a backbench MP works out to an extra $5,100, bringing their salary up to $194,600 per year. Trudeau is pocketing a $10,200 pay hike, bringing his salary up to $389,200 plus a slew of benefits.

MPs took the raise despite four in five Canadians opposing it, according to a Leger poll commissioned by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

This year’s raise downplays the divide that’s been growing between politicians and their constituents.

MPs now receive an annual salary that’s $15,700 higher than they did pre-pandemic, while Trudeau takes home an extra $31,400.

The Conservatives now vehemently oppose the carbon tax. But even their silence on the MP pay raise has been deafening.

For Alberta’s MPs to be true champions of taxpayers, they must oppose the pay raises as vigorously as they oppose the carbon tax.

Kris Sims is the Alberta Director and Franco Terrazzano is the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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