NDP proposes 1% surcharge to oil and potash to help with cost-of-living

With the cost of living increasing and the resource sector seeing a boom, the NDP calls on the provincial Government to give Saskatchewan families a break.

The NDP proposes a windfall profit resource surcharge to deliver a cost-of-living dividend to address the affordability crisis.

The surcharge would add one per cent to the provincial resource surcharge when WTI oil prices exceed $90 US per barrel and potash prices exceed $700 CDN per K20 tonne.

Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon said the slight increase could add $250 million to provincial coffers.

“The implementation of a modest one percent increase on the provincial resource surcharge could make a huge difference in the lives of Saskatchewan people and the life of our province,” he said. “It is a modest increase ensuring the success and profitability of our critically important energy sector as well as our potash industry while providing much-needed relief to Saskatchewan people, the owners of our resources.”

With the added money, the NDP said that the Government could scrap the PST increase in the budget and immediately rebate $125 million by cost-of-living dividends to every Saskatchewan household. That would average $105 per person in the province.

The additional proceeds should be split between an urgent investment into our health system to address the generational challenge in health care and into a fund for energy efficiency building retrofits, including renewable energy options for homes, businesses and farms to create jobs, make utility bills more affordable and reduce emissions.

In response to how the surcharge would affect the province’s resource sector, Wotherspoon feels it won’t have too much effect at all.

“The resource sector in Saskatchewan is an important sector, and they understand the kind of profits they are experiencing. This is a very modest increase and doesn’t impact our competitiveness, certainly is no threat to them, it’s a very modest increase but a big difference for Saskatchewan people.”

Premier Scott Moe said the province isn’t interested in increasing taxes.

“We won’t be increasing the taxes on those wealth-generating industries in our province,” he said. “Those industries that are employing people, providing jobs for Saskatchewan.”

He said that the Government is always looking at what options are available to make life more affordable.

“The Deputy Premier has said many times that we have close to two billion dollars made available each and every year for low-income families here in the province,” Moe said. “We are always looking at what options we may have or what looks we may have into the future.”

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