Tax bill for average Canadian family up 1,787% since 1961: Report



Canadian families have been handing over more and more of their income towards taxes in the past 50 years, to the point we are now spending more on taxes than we do food, clothing and shelter combined, reveals a report released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute.

Nearly half of the average family's income - 42.7% - went toward federal, provincial and municipal taxes in 2012, the conservative think-tank said.

While salaries were considerably lower in 1961, the taxman took a much smaller chunk of it - 33.5%.

In 2012, basic necessities otherwise took up 36.9% of the family budget.

Most of the blame for the increasing intrusion into our bottom lines can be put on new taxes and increased existing ones, the report's co-author Charles Lammam told QMI Agency.

The much-maligned GST was one example, but Lammam said that wasn't necessarily a "bad" tax increase.

"The issue was they didn't reduce other more damaging taxes, like income and corporate taxes," he said.

The other culprit is government deficits, which the report calls "deferred taxation."

When governments spend more than they take in, they have to increase taxes to cover the shortfall, Lammam said.

"If you look at the international evidence, if you look at the evidence from Canada in the 1990s, it's crystal clear that if governments truly want to deal with their deficits, they have to attack it from the spending side, not the tax side," he said.

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