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Nova Scotia’s finance minister ruling out cut to gasoline taxes as prices rise

Click to play video: 'Inflation rates show cost of nearly everything rising'
Inflation rates show cost of nearly everything rising
Newly released inflation stats show the cost of practically everything is going up and shows no signs of slowing down. And with Nova Scotia’s poverty rates being the highest in the country, opposition and non-profit voices say the provincial government can't afford to stall on further relief for citizens. Alexa MacLean has the details. – May 18, 2022

Nova Scotia’s finance minister says that as gas and food prices continue to soar, the province is working on another targeted package of relief for those with lower incomes.

However, Allan MacMaster says the government is currently ruling out measures for the wider population, including a cut to gasoline taxes.

MacMaster said following a cabinet meeting Thursday that relief will be coming “soon” for people on income assistance and those with lower incomes, building on a package that was announced in March.

Read more: Calls continue for N.S. government to relieve rising cost of living impacts

That $13.2-million package included a one-time payment of$150 to people on income assistance and to those eligible to receive the province’s heating assistance rebate among other measures.

In ruling out a cut in gas taxes, which are made up of an excise tax and the HST, MacMaster says they provide needed revenue that goes to improve the province’s roads and highways.

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Gas prices in the province are well over $2 a litre while the inflation rate as of last month sits at 7.1 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.

“People who have higher incomes are more equipped to deal with it (inflation) than people at the lowest income levels, so our focus right now is on people at the lowest income levels,” MacMaster said.

He said a province like Alberta, which recently suspended its tax on gas, has the advantage of getting royalties from the oil and gas it produces.

“They have a much greater ability to help people right now than we do here in Nova Scotia,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2022.

 

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