The Liberal government’s carbon tax turns out to be nothing other than a gas tax, according to a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO).
Of the $2.63 billion in revenue to the government, $2.43 billion will be from fuel. The rest will come from manufacturers whose carbon output is above a certain level — that means households pay over 90% of the carbon tax.
By 2024, total carbon tax revenue is expected to come to $6.21 billion, but ordinary people will still be paying the vast majority of that cost.
“Households will largely bear the cost of the pricing system through their consumption of energy used for residential and transport purposes, and carbon charges embodied in non-energy products.“ the report reads.
The PBO expects Saskatchewan households will end up paying the most in carbon tax compared to other provinces — $425 this year rising up to $910 in 2023.
The Trudeau government has tried to make the carbon tax more appealing by claiming it will be revenue neutral, even stating that most people will make a modest profit off of the rebates — this however is not the whole story.
Sales taxes like the Goods & Services Tax (GST), and the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) are applied on the after carbon tax amount.
That means Canadians will be paying sales tax on the carbon tax, and these sales taxes are not getting rebated.
The $70 net gain projected by the report for the lowest polluting Saskatchewan households would quickly disappear once sales taxes are factored in.
Premier Scott Moe slammed the report and the federal government for not recognizing the effect indirect factors like tax-on-tax will have.
“In many ways, it looks at direct costs to families but does not include many, many indirect costs that will be impacted to families and industries,” Moe said.
Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick are all challenging the legality of the federally imposed carbon tax in court.
The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan rules Friday that the law is constitutional in a 3-2 decision. The province’s government has vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court.