LETTER: Taxes versus home prices

Media coverage regarding the cost of housing overshadows a much higher cost …

A stark reality facing Canadian families is how media coverage regarding the cost of housing overshadows a much higher cost from government taxes. A Fraser report reminds us that hidden taxes are overlooked when determining which has greater access to taxpayer wallets.

In 2016, the average Canadian family earned $83,105 and paid $35,283 in taxes or 42.5 per cent. Basic necessities related to housing, food and clothing consumed 37.4 per cent.

Governments confuse citizenry by barraging us with a myriad of taxes such as income, sales, property, fuel, carbon, import, alcohol, tolls, user fees, and more. These bits become a significant bite out of a family’s wallet.

At the same time, government’s wasteful spending garners scant attention from media, probably because researching requires considerable effort and cost. Government is adept at hiding and spinning its failures.

Management of human resources is one example of how inept government has been. Salaries for comparable positions in government and the private sector ding taxpayers an additional 10.6 per cent. Including benefit costs, such as pension and job security, increases this disparity.

Voters frequently base decisions on a single issue, and bang for the buck must become that issue. Government can regain trust by reporting on an entire range of data as contemplated by Abbotsford’s announcement of a “Quality of Life” index.

Media can regain some of its respect by adjusting its public focus for reporting on government success or lack thereof. We will benefit from a robust debate about whether government is a legitimate robber of our wallet or an efficient steward of our dollars.

Jim Dueck

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