Canadians spending more on taxes than on necessities

Families paying 41.8% of income



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VANCOUVER – A new study says the average Canadian family was spending more on taxes than on food, shelter and clothing combined.

The Fraser Institute study says that in 2013, the average Canadian family earned $77,381 and paid $32,369 in total taxes, or 41.8 per cent of income, compared with 36.1 per cent for food, shelter and clothing combined.

By comparison, in 1961 the average family earned about $5,000 and spent 56.5 per cent of its income on food, shelter and clothing, while $1,675 went to taxes (33.5 per cent).

The study says the total tax bill represents both visible and hidden taxes paid to the federal, provincial and local governments. This includes income taxes, payroll taxes, health taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes, vehicle taxes, import taxes, alcohol and tobacco taxes.

The think tank says that since 1961, the average Canadian family’s total tax bill has increased by 1,832 per cent, moving past increases in shelter costs (1,375 per cent), clothing (620 per cent) and food (546 per cent).

The Fraser Institute says with more money going to the government, families have less for their spending priorities, saving for education and retirement, and paying down debt.

The Fraser Institute produced the video below that graphically shows how the average family’s tax bill has changed.

3 comments on “Canadians spending more on taxes than on necessities

  1. I did not know the numbers but it really comes as no surprise. Cost of living outweighs income and I doubt we will ever see a correction,


  2. In 1960 we had to pay for our own health care. Today that is covered under taxes. Therefore, it would be useful to see healthcare spending included.


  3. Given the 1961 numbers of 57%+34%=91% and today’s 42%+36%=78%…. there appears to be more to the story here then just taxes. Is the Fraser Institute telling us that we now have significantly more discretionary income then was available in 1961? It’s a fairly large difference. Is it perhaps possible that more of that discretionary money should have been put into the CPP program over the years since so that we wouldn’t be having to raise CPP inputs now?


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