Cut costs the public

Molly McCracken’s letter to the Winnipeg Free Press Editor, January 19, 2024

Re: Keep the gas tax savings going (Think tank, Jan. 16)
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation appears blind to the fiscal and environmental realities facing the Manitoba government with their position on the gas tax cut for motorists.

This tax cut comes at the expense of the public purse and the pressing need for improved health care and public infrastructure. Since the NDP announced the gas tax cut, the Manitoba deficit has quadrupled from $369 million to $1.6 billion dollars. Manitoba is currently borrowing to backfill this revenue and give massive tax breaks, which mainly benefit middle and upper-income people, and do little to help low and moderate income people.

The revenue from the gas tax — and more revenue — is needed to bring down the deficit and fund important programs that would address the affordability crisis affecting those living paycheque to paycheque, things like access to health care and child care, eliminating school fees, renewing the 50/50 funding agreement for transit etc.

What’s more, Manitoba inflation rates have come down to 1.7 per cent as per December, before the gas tax cut was even introduced, so the NDP politically has a reason to end this anti-environmental populist policy commitment.

Molly McCracken

Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives — Manitoba office