Canadian Taxpayers Federation looking for answers after carbon tax rebate is cut by Federal government

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the federal government to be more transparent on why the carbon tax rebate is going down for Saskatchewan families.

It was announced earlier this week the federal government will be decreasing the rebate by about $100 for a family of four while charging $10 more per tonne on the carbon tax this year.

Prairie director Todd MacKay said Saskatchewan hasn’t been given an explanation.

“Ottawa owes us an explanation,” MacKay said. “The carbon tax has taken a lot of money out of people’s pockets, they need to understand why all of a sudden the rebate part of the equation has changed dramatically.”

MacKay said the way the carbon tax is charged has become a serious issue.

“With this carbon tax scheme it’s all in regulations: the rates are in regulations, the rebates are in regulations, it’s all in (regulations),” MacKay said. “The minister of finance can just, any day of the week, decide who’s going to be what, how much, where they’re paying it, all kinds of stuff like that, and they can make it up on the fly; nobody has to take responsibility for that.”

This comes as the federal government also announced it has approved New Brunswick’s carbon pricing plan of 4¢ per litre, which is partially covered by a 3¢ per litre provincial fuel tax rebate.

MacKay said this makes him wonder why Saskatchewan’s climate plan was not approved when it was proposed in 2017.

“If this was about emissions, then Saskatchewan should have been approved already, and certainly New Brunswick should be free and clear already,” MacKay said. “Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that we’re seeing a haphazard and unfair application of Ottawa’s policy because that’s what they’ve been doing already.”

While the carbon tax cost Saskatchewanians 4.4¢ per litre in 2019, it will now cost 6.6¢ per litre in 2020.

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