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Canadians spend more on taxes than basic necessities: Fraser Institute


The tax man is getting greedy and living in Alberta won’t give you the big break many hope for according to the Fraser Institute.

Its Canadian Consumer Tax Index says Canadians are spending more of their incomes on taxes than basic necessities.

According to the report, in 2015, the average Canadian family (including single Canadians) earned $80,593 and paid $34,154 in taxes.

That’s compared to the $30,293 spent on housing, food and clothing combined.

Co-author and Director of Fiscal Studies, Charles Lammam says the new carbon tax, higher levies and provincial debt means people won’t get much of a break living in wildrose country.

“That borrowed money eventually has to be repaid, so, you know, if they continue on the trajectory they’re on we could conceivably see a higher tax burden for Albertans and that tax advantage that they’ve enjoyed in Canada may dissipate,” says Lammam.

The study tracked average spending and tax bills from 1961 to 2015.

In comparison, 3.5 per cent of the average family’s income went to taxes in 1961 while 56.5 per cent went to basic necessities. Lammam says while the money goes to valuable causes people should question whether the services are worth it.

“Can governments be more diligent and not waste taxpayers’ money? Absolutely. So there’s great opportunity for us to improve how we deliver those important programs, get better bang for our tax dollars, and I think that’s where the debate needs to be,” he says.

The report also notes taxes have grown more rapidly since 1961, than any other single expenditure.