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A car ride is one of the few things families can do to get out of the house, but now they’re hit by gasoline prices that have peaked in two years. Refueling a minivan is now $ 95.
But it shouldn’t cost that much, because Prime Minister Doug Ford promised to give tax breaks on the pump.
When Ford wanted to become prime minister in the 2018 election, he was very concerned about the high gasoline prices in the province.
“Every day I hear from people who are tired of it,” said Ford. “I’m tired of being hollowed out on the pump.”
Ford realized that high gasoline prices meant that millions of Ontarians were struggling to pay their bills with no end or relief in sight.
More importantly, Ford promised to bring relief to the Ontarians by cutting gasoline prices by 10 cents per liter.
Ford spoke to thousands of hardworking Ontarians who often get stuck in traffic for hours, commuting from their suburban homes to their downtown workplaces.
Ford’s plan consisted of two parts: it promised to scrap the provincial emissions tax tax system and save drivers 4.3 cents per liter, and it promised to lower the provincial excise tax on gas and give drivers an additional 5.7 cents save per liter.
Shortly after his election, Ford fulfilled the first part of that promise. Ontario’s cap-and-trade regime is gone, despite being replaced by the federal carbon tax.
Ottawa’s actions are beyond his control, but Ford has yet to fully deliver on its own promise. With gas prices hitting their highest level in nearly two years in Toronto last weekend, Ford must cut gas consumption tax.
A reduction in gas taxes of 5.7 cents per liter is more than reasonable considering the entire gas tax system. Last month, drivers paid an average of 45.5 cents per liter in taxes when they refueled their gasoline tanks, according to the Ontario government. Thanks to the Trudeau government’s increase in carbon tax on April 1, that number rose to 47.8 cents per liter. That means $ 35.85 in taxes will be incurred if a family refills the minivan for a Sunday afternoon drive.
That’s too much of our hard-earned wages that go into the treasury.
The reality is that hardworking families across the province have slashed budgets.
They struggle with bans, downtime and job losses as we continue to grapple with COVID-19.
Working Ontarians need help and Ford can give it to them. He should keep his gas tax pledge for 2018 and give hardworking families an opportunity to get an extra ice cream or two.
Jay Goldberg is Interim Ontario Director at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Jay is one of our thought leaders. For interview requests, click here.
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Jay Goldberg has spent most of his career in academia, most recently as a political assistant at the Munk School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He has an honor bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia.