Carbon Tax / levy and misleading slogans.
No doubt that global warming is impacting our environment and we have a responsibility for the future of our generation to reduce GHG. Fossil fuel is one of the major factors in GHG that is causing global warming. Carbon tax was imposed on the consumers to discourage them for using fossil fuel.
According to Alberta Government’s Climate Leadership Plan, carbon levy, contributes to economic diversification, good jobs and reduced emissions. $5.3 billion will be spent to advance climate leadership initiatives including public transit, innovation research, energy efficiency programs, infrastructure projects and support to Indigenous communities.
How much it impacts me as a consumer! I pay direct carbon levy/tax on two items, first when I fill gas in my Car at the pump. I pay $0.0673/L as gas tax. Second to heat my home, my total gas/ATCO bill for January 2019 was around $139/-. Interestingly the actual gas cost was just under $33/- and overhead was $106/- (in different forms including gas levy, municipal charges, distribution charges, admin fee and GST). This is too high, I pay more than 321% as overhead (106*100/33=321) of my actual gas cost. This 321% includes carbon levy of 56.56% and 264.44% is other overhead plus GST.
Average gas price today (February 20, 2019) at the pump, in Edmonton is between $0.919 and $0.929 per liter, Saskatoon is $0.989 – $1.015 and Winnipeg is $0.931 – $0.934 note that there is no carbon tax in Saskatoon or Winnipeg (source of information gasbuddy.com). In other words, gas price at the pump in Edmonton with carbon tax is cheaper then Saskatoon and Winnipeg (without carbon tax). Also note that the price at the pump rapidly increases from 10 to 20 cent/liter every two to three weeks.
One thing is clear carbon tax/levy has increased the cost of living on every Albertans. Conservative party of Canada (CPC) and United Conservative Party in Alberta (UCP) due to their partisan politics are using this opportunity to exploit the hardship that hard working middle class is facing. They have made it an election issue and commitment to abolish it when they get power. They are using the slogans like “Carbon tax is a Cash Grab”, “Carbon tax is a Job Killer”.
Well in my opinion both these slogans/statements are misleading and wrong. Propaganda statements like these are used to distract and create diversion from our issues. The purpose of these statements is to exploit the hardship of Albertans and Canadians for their political gain. The real issue here is hardship not carbon tax, carbon tax just plays small part in our financial hardship.
“Carbon tax is a Job Killer”, any tax is a cash grab for the government. The tax collected is used to provide services to its citizens. As regards to “Carbon tax is a job killer”, Albertans were losing jobs and businesses before the Carbon tax was imposed on consumers and will lose jobs and businesses after it is abolished too. Even CPC or UCP cannot provide guarantees that abolishing Carbon tax will create jobs and new businesses.
You might be wondering if these are wrong then, why CPC and UCP are using it. Answer is very simple and clear: – They want to make vast majority of the middle class angry, either to vote for them in anger or stay home on voting day. I don’t see CPC’s or UCP’s sincerity in providing relief to ordinary Albertan’s or Canadians by abolishing the carbon tax. What we need is plan and solid measure to reduce high overhead cost on our energy bills. Abolishing the Caron tax is to kill the opportunity to invest in our future. We don’t need carbon tax abolished but we want to see it utilized effectively for economic diversification, good jobs and reduced emissions. We need leaders having long-term vision of better future for Albertans. We need our representatives accountable and answerable to us the voters. Leaders who will not mislead us with their propaganda statements or sound bites. We need opposition who can question the government’s policies and objectives to ensure proper utilization of our tax dollar.
Majority of Albertans like me are looking for solutions not slogans, financial stability, safety and security, better governance and accountable representatives. Sure, we can get it by electing real representative who will server us, not their party leadership.