According to the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, Albertans will pay $196 million more in personal taxes in 2021 and an estimated $600 million in 2022.
It’s called bracket creep.
In secret, Kenney and his MLAs stopped indexing tax brackets for inflation which pushes taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though the purchasing power of their money has decreased.
It is a slick way to increase personal taxes because the majority of Albertans won’t notice or understand.
That fact didn’t stop Kenney from standing on his soapbox denouncing the Business Council of Alberta (BCA) when it expressed concern about the province’s high expenses and falling revenues.
It seems Kenney took offence to a BCA study showing that Alberta will eventually need to consider a harmonized sales tax if we are ever to transform Alberta from a yo-yo Petro state to a diversified economy.
Ironically, after raising Alberta’s personal income taxes in secret, our premier, with much indignation declared, “This would be the worst possible time to ask people to pay more.”
In the middle of a pandemic, the BCA couldn’t agree more. They were just starting a much-needed conversation on Alberta’s revenue reality, not asking for new taxes today.
But the question remains, Mr. Premier, why did you increase our personal income taxes during a pandemic and economic meltdown?
Frankly, it’s also not the time to slash the civil service, anger doctors, and starve municipal, health, education and social service budgets. Nor should it be a time when we indiscriminately throw money at a pipeline in a foreign country, or take on the high cost of setting up and operating a provincial police force and CPP-equivalent pension plan.
It’s the sleaze factor behind this government’s operations that is getting very tiresome. From park closures, to open pit coal mining in the Rockies, to personal income tax increases, absolutely everything is done by Premier Kenney and his MLAs without consultation and in secret.
If not the recent personal tax increases in the middle of a health and economic crisis, just when will it be enough for UCP members to turf their ineffective leader?
They and the rest of Albertans deserve better.
Kudos to Herman Schwenk
It was with great disappointment and sadness that I learned of Mr. Schwenk’s health issues and decision to retire.
He and I have been fellow columnists for two decades and it just won’t be the same without us sharing the op-ed page.
I’ve always been glad to write in a newspaper that was unapologetic about publishing columnists with opposing opinions.
Herman, you were one half of the whole and your leaving has left a hole that will be hard to fill.
Your voice will be greatly missed.
I wish you all of God’s strength and blessings.