The NDP can tell us a carbon tax is what this province needs until they are blue in the face but they will not be able to pull the wool over the eyes of critical Albertans so easily.
It’s no secret there is mounting skepticism and anger regarding the tax, as it, as it stands and the goals it is being marketed to achieve, are laughable.
Yes, the original idea behind the carbon tax is something meaningful. Greenhouse gas emissions are a major issue worldwide and as such environmental practices and policies need to be established proactively.
However, this ideal is so completely buried beneath what the carbon levy has grown into.
Starting Jan. 1 the carbon levy will be applied to fuels at a rate of $20 per tonne; that will increase to $30 per tonne Jan. 1, 2018.
Exemptions include fuels bought or used on reserve land, fuel focused in the agricultural industry on farm sites and large industrial emitters who will not have to contribute for the time being, as they are already subject to the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation performance standards framework.
A rebate program will provide money back to those eligible. The rebate will provide up to $200 for an adult, $100 for a spouse, and $30 for each child under 18 in the household up to a maximum of four children.
To provide small businesses a relief Alberta’s small business corporate income tax rate will be reduced by one-third, effect on Jan 1, 2017.
According to the Government of Alberta website, the levy is being marketed as the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. Of course it’s a cost-effective strategy for the NDP; the largest chunk of the money will be taken from the wallets of hardworking Albertans and small businesses.
The carbon levy is nothing but a glorified cash cow.
Yes, in the long run it will build a sizable pool of funds in which green technology can be explored and supported, as long as the money is put back into the energy industry both effectively and efficiently. What’s the likelihood this will happen if the NDP is still in power by that point?
They’ve already got this carbon tax twisted around and are picking away at the livelihoods of Albertans in the name of growth, environmental health and safety.
The levy is nothing more than an unavoidable sales tax. It is not going to inspire people and businesses, already suffering in a down-turned economy, to fork over high start up costs to energy efficient practice models in the name of the NDP, and all they feel is good and right.
Instead stress levels over budgets, operational costs, and necessities are going to rise. Instead, people are going to be forced to cover costs from other areas and button down their hatches for a long, cold winter.
Amelia Naismith is the reporter for the Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the newspaper.