Trudeau refuses to cut gas taxes to ease the burden facing Canadians

Photo by Oleg Ivanov
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If Trudeau even remotely cared about you, he would follow the lead of provinces and countries that have reduced gas taxes

Franco TerrazzanoPrime Minister Justin Trudeau refuses to do the one thing that would immediately make life more affordable: cut gas taxes.

The federal government makes you pay a fuel tax, a carbon tax, a second carbon tax and a sales tax every time you fuel up. In total, federal taxes add about 31 cents per litre to the price of gas, or about $20 extra to fuel up a large sedan.

To add insult to injury, the feds and all six provinces east of Manitoba charge their sales taxes on top of the other taxes. This tax-on-tax adds about $2.65, on average, to the cost of fueling up a large sedan. If you fill up that sedan once a week, you’re paying about $140 every year just because of the tax-on-tax.

That big tax bill is only getting bigger.

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<strong>Photo by <a href=httpsunsplashcomolegivanovpht>Oleg Ivanov<a><strong>
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Trudeau is cranking up his carbon tax until it hits 37 cents per litre of gas in 2030. The feds also recently imposed a second carbon tax through fuel regulations. When those fuel regulations are fully implemented in 2030, it’ll add up to 17 cents per litre to the price of gas. There are no rebates with the second carbon tax, and it’s being layered on top of the original tax.

In just seven years, federal taxes will cost about 74 cents per litre of gas. According to data from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the two carbon taxes alone will cost the average family more than $2,000 every year.

Gas taxes make life more expensive beyond the pumps. By making it more expensive for farmers to produce food and truckers to deliver food, the carbon tax makes it more expensive for families to buy food.

The big rig truck driver who delivers groceries to the store pays more than $260 in federal taxes every fuel up. The carbon tax on propane and natural gas will cost Canadian farmers $1 billion through 2030, according to the PBO.

Trudeau has hiked his carbon tax every year since he first imposed it in 2019. Meanwhile, provincial governments of all stripes cut taxes.

The United Conservatives in Alberta completely suspended their provincial fuel tax. The Progressive Conservatives in Ontario cut their fuel tax, saving the two-car family filling up once a week nearly $440.

British Columbia’s New Democrats paused a carbon tax hike to provide relief during the height of the pandemic. The Liberals in Newfoundland and Labrador cut their gas tax and continue to oppose Trudeau’s carbon tax hikes.

The multi-partisan Council of Atlantic Premiers launched a campaign to “fight the federal gas hike.”

“Combined with the carbon tax, this (second carbon tax) will increase the cost of everything – fuel, food, clothing and more,” Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said. “We are asking the federal government once again to work with us and not raise the price of everything.”

Across the pond, the United Kingdom announced billions of dollars in fuel tax relief. Sweden provided hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel tax relief. Australia cut its gas tax in half. South Korea cut its gas tax by about 30 percent. The Netherlands cut its gas tax by 17 cents per litre, while Germany cut its tax by 30 cents.

Norway reduced fuel taxes to “help make everyday life a little easier for households and businesses.” India cut fuel taxes “to keep inflation low, thus helping the poor and middle classes.” Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand and Portugal also cut fuel taxes.

About three-quarters of countries don’t have a national carbon tax, according to the World Bank. Canadians now pay two.

If Trudeau even remotely cared about making life more affordable, he would follow in the footsteps of provinces and countries of all political stripes and reduce his gas taxes.

Franco Terrazzano is the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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The opinions expressed by our columnists and contributors are theirs alone and do not inherently or expressly reflect the views of our publication.

© Troy Media
Troy Media is an editorial content provider to media outlets and its own hosted community news outlets across Canada.

By Franco Terrazzano

Franco Terrazzano is Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. He joined the CTF after working as an economic policy analyst with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and as a fellow with the Canadian Constitution Foundation. Franco has produced multiple reports and op-eds on the costs associated with tax increases, inefficient government and the unintended consequences of public policies. Franco completed his Master of Public Policy and Bachelor of Arts (Economics) degrees at the University of Calgary.

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