The carbon tax will cost Albertan families dearly, and the government’s rebates for low- and middle-income earners won’t make up for it.
That was the message from the Wildrose Party today, as they suggested the NDP were misleading citizens on the true costs of the levy.
When the budget was presented last week, Finance Minister Joe Ceci suggested that carbon pricing would increase the average family’s costs by $500. The rebates would provide up to $200 for individuals earning less than $51,000 and $360 for families earning less than $100,000 in 2017, increasing to $300 and $540 respectively in 2018.
However, the Wildrose used a 2012 analysis by the Canadian Tax Journal to determine the cost impact of a $30/tonne carbon tax, pegging the average family cost at $1,000 annually. By that math, Albertans receiving the carbon levy rebates would still be paying more than they’re receiving.
On Friday, Premier Rachel Notley responded to criticism saying that those who change their carbon consumption habits would have “extra money in their pockets.”
The Wildrose criticism went on, pointing to the financial strain the carbon levy would place on municipalities. The official opposition suggested that increased costs at the municipal level would mean higher property taxes for residents. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi estimated the levy would cost the city $6.5 million.
“The NDP government is just making things worse at a time when over 80,000 Albertans have lost work,” Wildrose Leader and Fort McMurray-Conklin MLA Brian Jean said. “A government should be there to protect Alberta’s interests when people are suffering.”