OUR VIEW: Reducing carbon tax would help the wallet

It seems like everything costs more these days.

The increase in the cost of operations is being cited as one of the reasons for a four-per-cent increase in sewer and water user rates in Grand Forks and the situation in Libya is being partially blamed for the increase of fuel over the past weekend.

According to a report from Global news over the weekend, the average price at the pump in British Columbia is about $1.29 a litre and in Grand Forks, gas went up from about $1.14 to about $1.24 a litre for regular grade.

It seems as if it is becoming expensive to even fill up a “fuel efficient” sedan and the price for a truck or sports utility vehicle is likely astronomical.

As a result of increased fuel, local consumers can expect food prices to increase as well – according to the Vancouver Province, Weston’s food division is increasing bread products by five per cent starting in April.

A segment of the population in Grand Forks is said to be of an older demographic, with some living on fixed incomes, and these recent increases will have a negative effect on them in particular.

Paying more on staples of life and bills when you are living on pension can be hard.

Paying five per cent more on something like bread while possibly paying $1.24-plus a litre to gas up your car, together with the four per cent more to flush your toilet and wash your dishes could stretch the budgets of not only seniors but other residents as well.

While a provincial price freeze on everything would be ideal, it is not really feasible but a reduction in the carbon tax could lead to maintaining of affordability since fuel is tied into the increased food prices.

Between 2009 and 2010, the carbon tax rate on gasoline rose from 3.62 cents to 4.82 cents a litre and is expected to rise to 6.03 cents this year – it will rise to 7.24 cents in 2012.

The carbon tax is said to be revenue neutral and according to the provincial government, all money raised by the tax will be returned to individuals and businesses through tax reductions but you still feel the hit at the cash register and at the pump.

With the rate things are going at, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to be paying $8 for a loaf of bread and $90 to fill up a Toyota Corolla eventually.

– The Grand Forks Gazette