Second carbon tax disproportionately impacts single mothers and seniors on fixed incomes

Franco Terrazzano: Brace yourself for Trudeau's one-two punch carbon taxPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has a summer special for taxpayers: a second carbon tax.

On July 1, the Trudeau government’s second carbon tax will take effect. Trudeau buried the tax in fuel regulations that require producers to reduce the carbon content of their fuels. If companies can’t meet the requirements, they’ll be forced to buy credits. Those costs will be passed onto consumers through higher pump prices.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer, the government’s independent budget watchdog, recently released an analysis of Trudeau’s second carbon tax. In 2030, when the regulations are fully implemented, it will cost the average family up to $1,157 and will increase the price of gas by up to 17 cents per litre.

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The government’s own analysis shows the second carbon tax will “disproportionately impact lower and middle-income households, as well as households currently experiencing energy poverty.” That will especially harm “single mothers” and “seniors living on fixed incomes.”

The second carbon tax will also lead to 24,000 fewer jobs in 2030, according to a report commissioned by Canadians for Affordable Energy.

Taxpayers will need to pay an extra $85 million to fuel the bureaucracy administering this regulatory quagmire, according to the government. Canadians will have the pleasure of paying higher taxes so more federal paper-pushers can increase our fuel prices and force our neighbours out of a job.

To make matters worse, there are no rebates with the second carbon tax, and it’s being layered on top of Trudeau’s current tax.

According to the PBO, Trudeau’s current carbon tax is already costing the average family up to $710 more per year than they get back in rebates.

Higher fuel prices also mean higher sales taxes, which the federal government applies on top of gas taxes. Canadians will pay $429 million more this year in GST because of this tax-on-tax.

Trudeau is cranking up his current carbon tax until it reaches more than 37 cents per litre of gas by 2030. By the end of the decade, Trudeau’s two carbon taxes will increase the price of gas by about 55 cents per litre and cost the average family more than $2,000 annually.

All this pain is for nothing.

Making it more expensive for Canadians to gas up their car or keep the natural gas running during winter will have a negligible impact on the environment.

With Canada making up just 1.5 percent of global emissions, the PBO notes that “Canada’s own emissions are not large enough to materially impact climate change.” In 2018, Trudeau himself acknowledged that “even if Canada stopped everything tomorrow, and the other countries didn’t have any solutions, it wouldn’t make a big difference.”

Trudeau’s tax is especially self-defeating when more than three-quarters of countries don’t have a national carbon tax, as highlighted by the World Bank. Meanwhile, Canada will soon have two.

Ottawa increased gas taxes while other countries cut them. Australia cut its gas tax in half. South Korea reduced gas taxes by 30 percent. The United Kingdom provided billions of dollars in gas tax relief. New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Israel and Portugal also cut fuel taxes, along with provinces like Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Canadians need another carbon tax like we need a kick in the head. A government that was even remotely serious about making life more affordable would immediately back away from carbon taxes.

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

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