Life Money
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Taxes. Blech. The word on its own sends shivers up everyone’s spines, so we’re sorry to say that a new study might dampen your morning. According to the Fraser Institute, Canadians are spending more on taxes than on life’s basic necessities. Combined. We’ll let that sink in and once you pick your jaw up off the ground, settle in for the frustrating, frightening details.

The study says that families spend 42 per cent of their income on taxes, compared to what we spend on food (10.5 per cent), shelter (21 per cent) and clothing (5.1 per cent).

Comparatively, back in 1961, taxes consumed nearly 34 per cent of a family’s income, which doesn’t seem like a dramatic increase, but once you factor in how much we spent on basic needs (back then, a much more acceptable 56.5 per cent) and account for inflation, the total tax bill has actually shot up 150 per cent.

The study says the tax bill represents all the funds paid to federal, provincial and local governments, so: income tax, sales tax, property tax, fuel tax, payroll tax, health tax…you get the idea.

And with more money going to the government, that means families have less to spend on things they actually want to spend money on, like saving for the future, education or paying down debt. With the federal election fast approaching, can anything be done? Charles Lammam of the Fraser Institute says it’s not about cutting taxes, but whether we’re getting good bang for our tax buck.

But hey, let’s look at the bright side: we live in one of the best countries in the world, we have universal health care, and all those taxes pay for schooling and other essentials. So it’s not like we’re just tossing our hard-earned cash in the toilet.

Learn more in the video, above.