Opinion

EDITORIAL: Governments reach deeper

All levels of government have their hands in your pockets a little more deeply than in 2012.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation sent out a press release last week outlining just how much additional pocket-picking is coming our way in 2013.

The most substantial, and perhaps the most unfair, is the boost in Medical Services Plan premiums. These premiums will go up by $60 per family this year, and have now risen 24 per cent ($300 per family) in three years – far more than the rate of inflation.

This boost in MSP fees was first brought in by the provincial government to help deal with its deficit, and it has since discovered that it’s a tax boost that causes minimal political trouble.

The federal government doesn’t get off scot-free. As of Jan. 1, premiums for Employment Insurance are rising, and so are contributions to the Canada Pension Plan. While contributors will get their CPP contributions back eventually if they retire and collect CPP, the same cannot be said for EI. A small portion of the population actually collects it, but all working people and employers pay dearly.

The local municipal government will boost property taxes by two per cent this year.

The province is facing a massive deficit and claims it will bring in a balanced budget, so that means  all kinds of potential tax increases. And in the meantime, BC Hydro, controlled by the province, is raising rates by almost four per cent on April 1.

One thing is certain – governments have an  insatiable appetite for our money. While much of the money they take goes to useful services, there is plenty of room for better management and for minimal tax increases.

– The Langley Times

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