Overall, yesterday’s Quebec budget meant terrible news for all middle class citizens. Some of the new measures I do not agree with and others I feel as being long overdue. Highlights of the 2010 Quebec budget presented on March 30th, 2010:
We will see an increase of another percentage point in the provincial sales tax which will rise to 9.5% on Jan. 1, 2012. An increase of a couple percentage points in the QST is going to hit the pocket books of wealthier citizens as they naturally have more disposable income. A consumption tax is probably the best tax increase a government can make as it has no real impact on an individual’s motivation to work.
There is a $0.01 a liter fuel tax, with additional increases of $0.01 each year until 2013. Why did they decide to add an extra gas tax which will inevitably penalize all drivers? Instead of this measure, they should have decided to bring back tolls on our highways and bridges. Toll fees would help to prevent urban sprawl which is taking a toll on our cities and on the environment. People, who have large houses in the suburbs and commute daily to downtown, should contribute financially for having such a privilege.
A two-year pay freeze for the politicians is long overdue! I would have preferred to see pay cuts and job cuts. Government is way too large and should be downsized just like most major corporations have done in recent years. Also, how about cutting back on their overinflated expense accounts!
A hike in postsecondary tuition fees is Ok with me. Quebec currently has the lowest tuition rates in North America. Higher fees will encourage students to take their studies more seriously because they have more at stake. A problem arises when a student’s designer jeans cost more than their history or math class!
There will be an annual increase of 3.7% in the price of electricity for all Quebec consumers, beginning in 2014-15, with the exception of large industrial customers. The hikes are in addition to regular rate increases requested by Hydro-Quebec over the coming years. This of course is like an additional tax on all Quebecers. But why let the industrial consumers off the hook? This remains a mystery….
Brand new annual individual health care fees of $25 in 2010, $100 in 2011 and $200 in 2012 will be instituted. New additional healthcare user fees were also mentioned, however no definitive details were announced. How about providing a new tax credit for fitness activities instead? Healthy citizens will inevitably lower our global healthcare costs.
This new budget full of tax hikes makes it even more important to hire a professional Accountant who will review your situation and look to minimize your overall tax burden. Contact us today for an appointment to evaluate your situation and help plan for the future.