EDITORIAL: Fee hikes hitting home

We may have turned the page over on a new year, but all too many Canadians are facing a very familiar situation.

We may have turned the page over on a new year, but all too many Canadians are facing a very familiar situation. The vast majority of Canada’s working class will have to struggle just a little harder to make it to the next paycheque as both the B.C. and federal governments have extended their reach into taxpayers’ wallets.

Ottawa has increased premiums for both Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan. The increase will total $306 a year for the average employee in 2012, with just over half the increase covered by employers.

Meanwhile, a typical B.C. family will have to fork over an additional $84 in Medical Services Plan increases in 2012.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation notes this is the third significant jump in MSP premiums in the past two years, while the increase in federal payroll taxes is the second largest since the federation began tracking these taxes in 1994. Add to that the anticipated hikes in electricity rates, basic automobile insurance and the July 1 increase in B.C.’s carbon tax, and it becomes easy to see why so many families are falling deeper into debt.

While politicians at all levels continue to promise support for Canada’s fragile economy, they find themselves unable to resist the temptation to shovel more money into government coffers at the expense of Canadian workers.

And those workers are the best hope for turning the country’s economic fortunes around. Governments at all levels should be looking for ways to provide incentives for Canadians to spend money and stimulate the economy. But the constant stream of increasing deductions is reducing the purchasing power of Canadian workers, taking away the most important weapon in the country’s economic fight.

– Black Press