A war of words has broken out over exactly how much a hike in Alberta’s carbon tax will impact home heating bills.
The carbon tax is due to increase 50 per cent in the New Year, going from $20 per tonne of CO2, to $30. That will mean an extra 2 cents per litre at the gas station, and another 50 cents per GJ on your natural gas bill.
The United Conservative Party says the hike on natural gas will mean the carbon tax will effectively be a 75 per cent rate on your home heating bill. That number comes from the fact natural gas is currently hovering at around $2 per gigajoule, and a $1.51 tax is 75 per cent.
“It’s going to be more expensive for households who are already stretched,” UCP leader Jason Kenney says in a video posted to Twitter on Nov. 13.
However, the carbon tax isn’t based on the price of gas, it is a flat rate. If the price of gas goes up or down, it will remain $1.51 until the government decides to increase it.
“It’s quite a creative play with numbers,” Premier Rachel Notley said to the media on Thursday.
“That’s just because the natural gas costs are so ridiculously low.”
Conservative group Alberta Can’t Wait has taken it a step further, claiming in a meme posted to its Twitter account home heating bills will increase 75 per cent on Jan. 1, 2018. That number is incorrect.
LISTEN: Rob Breakenridge chats about the disinformation spreading about the carbon tax
Only the carbon tax will increase on Jan. 1, by 50 per cent, which means if you use 10 GJ per month to heat your home, the carbon tax portion of your bill will increase from $10 to $15.
The government says carbon tax rebates paid to Albertans will also seen an increase in the New Year.
READ MORE: Alberta making changes to carbon tax rebates
Kenney has made it clear if he takes government in 2019, his first act will be repealing the carbon tax entirely.