According to a report by the Fraser Institute, Canadians pay a whopping 42.5 per cent of their income in taxes.
An average family with an income of about $83,000 paid roughly $35,000 in taxes last year, the Vancouver, B.C.-based think-tank calculated. That overall tax bill accounts for federal, provincial and local taxes, including income, payroll, sales and property taxes.
How high is this in comparison to other countries and what is the trajectory of taxes over time?
By comparison, a typical Canadian household used only 37 per cent of their income on basic necessities. Spending on housing, food and clothing amounted to $31,000 for the typical family.
Tax bills have risen by over 2,000 per cent since 1961, much faster than the price of many consumer products.
The Consumer Price Index (which measures the average price that consumers pay for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, health and personal care, education, and other items) rose by only 718 per cent over the period, the report said.
According to David Macdonald a senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, middle-class Canadians have to not only pay more in taxes but also must contend with higher sales taxes and a higher cost of goods, especially in the wealthier provinces, which effectively lowers their buying power.
So Taxes are high but are the services good?
Sadly it seems as though Canada’s social safety net is not able to provide the services many expect, especially given the high tax rates which Canada’s middle-class experiences.
In 2016, we hit the 20-week mark for the average wait time for treatment by a specialist after referral from a general practitioner. A drastic increase and a new record when compared to the 9.3 week wait time in 1993.
With such high costs and lackluster results perhaps its time to discuss lowering the tax burden on middle-class Canadians?