Canadians spending more on taxes than basic needs, says report

WATCH: According to a new study from the Fraser Institute, Canadians are paying more to the tax man than they are on basic necessities. Jacques Bourbeau has the details.

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.

Reality check: Canadian family tax spending – 1961 versus today

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).

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Infographic courtesy of Fraser Institute
Infographic courtesy of Fraser Institute

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.

READ MORE: Are Canadians really spending more than they earn?

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.

FULL REPORT:  Canadian Consumer Tax Index

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