Scheer promises cuts to sales taxes on home-heating bills, vows to end carbon tax

"Heating your home in winter isn’t a luxury for Canadians. It is a necessity,” Scheer said. “We don’t tax other basic necessities like groceries and we shouldn’t be taxing home heating.”

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Andrew Scheer has recently announced a new addition to his platform of cutting costs for Canadians by saying he would offer rebates to Canadians “for the five percent tax charged on all residential home energy, including heating oil, electricity, natural gas, propane, wood pellets, and other heating sources.”

The rebate is estimated to save Canadians an average of $107 per year, which may not sound like much to some, but Scheer's apparent commitment to cutting costs could bode well in his message for the October federal election.

The rebate would be capped at $200 per household and is exclusively for homeowners, meaning commercial costs will not be spared of the tax rate. The heating bills for investment properties would also be ineligible.

Those who live in provinces that have harmonized provincial and federal sales taxes (Saskatchewan, Quebec, Manitoba, and B.C.) would also get the same rebates.

“Heating your home in winter isn’t a luxury for Canadians. It is a necessity,” Scheer said. “We don’t tax other basic necessities like groceries and we shouldn’t be taxing home heating.”

"The Conservatives estimate the measure would cost the federal treasury $1.6 billion."

Scheer's promise comes in contrast to PM Trudeau, who has recently launched a campaign aimed at increasing public awareness to his carbon-pricing plan, a hot button issue that has been in the public conscience for years now, as there has meen many a hotly debated back and fourth as to what carbon tax should be put into place, if any.

Prime Minister Trudeau has set out to let voters be aware that the funds  raised from the coming carbon tax will be "rebated directly to residents of the four provinces that have no equivalent measures of their own."

Under Trudeau's liberals, provinces will soon be required to put a price on their carbon emissions, "starting at $20 per tonne this year and rising $10 per tonne annually until it hits $50 in 2022. Ottawa is imposing its own tax on Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick, as they continue to refuse to impose their own carbon pricing plan that meets federal targets."

Scheer has been a strong and vocal advocate against the carbon tax, and states that he would scrap the carbon tax if he becomes prime minister in the coming federal election.

Canadians definitely do feel the burden of taxes, moreso than any other expenses. According to the Financial Post, in 2016, the average Canadian family (including single Canadians) "earned $83,105 in income and paid $35,283 in total taxes." 42.5 percent of income earned going directly to taxes. After paying off all of your hydro, internet, cell phone(s), mortgage and car payments, which include gas and insurance, it's no wonder that a message that revolves around lower taxes would resonate well with voters.

The numbers add up quickly, and it's easy to see how our government drains our pockets of our hard earned cash. "The average Canadian family spends 22.1 per cent of its income on housing — only about half as much as it spends on taxes. In fact, taxes consume more of the average family’s income than all the basic necessities of life combined. If you add up the average family’s spending on housing, food and clothing in a year, it comes to 37.4 per cent of its income."

It could be seen as brash, but based on the amount of taxes taken from us, our government believes they can spend our tax dollars better than we can ourselves.

What do you think? Let us know.


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