OTTAWA—Where do Canadians spend most of their income? Many would guess it goes toward housing, cars, clothing, food, and other necessities.
However, a new study suggests that the average Canadian spends more on a long list of taxes, both hidden and otherwise, than they do on their own living necessities.
According to the Fraser Institute, a right-leaning think-tank headquartered in Vancouver, almost 42 percent of the $77,381 earned by the average Canadian family in 2013 went to taxes, while 36.1 percent went to necessities such as shelter, food, and clothing.
The study took into account income taxes, payroll taxes, health taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes, vehicle taxes, import taxes, alcohol and tobacco taxes, and more.
In comparison, in 1961, the average family had an income of $5,000 and paid 33.5 percent in taxes.
Sean Speer, associate director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute, says Canadians are paying many hidden taxes to federal, provincial, and local governments in addition to the visible taxes such as income and land tax.
“In B.C. we have a carbon tax. Every province with the exception of Alberta has sales tax. Profit taxes, investment taxes … the list goes on and on,” said Speer in an interview with New Tang Dynasty Television.
The report points out that over the past five decades, the total tax bill grew much faster than the cost of basic necessities, with the result that taxes eat up more income than any other single family expense.
However, critics of the report point out that, back in 1961, there was no universal health care, Canada Pension Plan, or Guaranteed Income Supplement which has hugely reduced poverty for seniors. It was also before the introduction of the Canada Child Tax Benefit, which is helping lower child poverty.