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Carson Binda: Life in Canada, B.C. will get more expensive in 2023 thanks to tax hikes

Next year, everything will feel more expensive as tax hikes will take a bigger chunk out of your paycheque. Both the Trudeau and Eby governments plan to hike taxes in 2023.
A couple reading bills at home.

Next year, everything will feel more expensive as tax hikes will take a bigger chunk out of your paycheque.

Both the Trudeau and Eby governments plan to hike taxes in 2023. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s New Year’s Tax Changes report outlines exactly how families across British Columbia will be hammered by governments next year.

Payroll taxes are going up next year for folks making more than $40,000 a year. Payroll taxes include Employment Insurance taxes and mandatory contributions to the Canada Pension Plan, which are automatically removed from your paycheque by the government before it reaches your bank account.

The rise in payroll taxes in 2023 means that most families across Canada will effectively be taking home less money than they did in 2022. Your average middle-class worker will pay an eye-watering $4,756 in payroll taxes alone in 2023. Millions of taxpayers can expect an additional $300 to be taken off their paycheques next year thanks to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s payroll tax hikes.

This year, one in five Canadian families have said that they are skipping meals because they can’t afford to buy food. The extra $300 in payroll taxes the government is set to skim off the top of Canadians’ paycheques would otherwise go a long way in making sure families can put food on the table next year.

This holiday season, millions of Canadians will sip a syrah with their better half or crack open a box of beers with their buddies. Eggnog will be spiked with spiced rum in millions of Canadian households. But folks are going to be in for a serious hangover in the new year when they see the increased tax bill on wine, beer and spirits.

The Trudeau government will increase liquor taxes by 6.3 per cent on April 1, 2023, sending sky-high alcohol prices even higher. The feds are hiking these taxes even though taxes already account for half of the price of beer, 65 per cent of the cost of wine and more than three quarters of the price of spirits.

The slew of unaffordable tax hikes doesn’t stop at the federal level. The provincial government in Victoria is also coming after a bigger piece of the pie. Despite British Columbians already paying the highest gas taxes in North America, they’re set to jet up again this April. Changes to the carbon tax means that folks in the Lower Mainland will be paying about 78 cents a litre in tax every time they fill up their car.

Gas prices in B.C. broke records this year in all the wrong ways. For the government to add more and more taxes when B.C. families already cannot afford to fill up to drive to work and school is nothing short of cruel.

British Columbians and families across the country cannot afford higher taxes in 2023 and yet that’s exactly what’s in store.

Instead of hiking taxes, Trudeau and Premier David Eby could try looking for savings. Trudeau could stop giving more than a billion dollars a year to the CBC. Eby could stop giving bureaucrats nearly a million dollars in taxpayer-funded compensation. He could also stop giving politicians $30 million for lawn signs and attack ads. British Columbians would welcome some needed tax relief in exchange for fewer lawn signs come election time.

To put the cherry on top, Eby doesn’t even need more tax revenue. B.C. is running a $5.7 billion surplus. Clearly, British Columbians are already overtaxed, and the government has no need for extra revenue.

Trudeau and Eby need to cut taxes to make life more affordable, not raise them. Trudeau should not be raising payroll taxes on families who are already struggling to make ends meet. And Eby should be returning the surplus back to taxpayers, where it belongs, rather than hitting British Columbians with even higher taxes just to pad a massive budget surplus.

Carson Binda is the British Columbia director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.