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Affordability measures coming to Albertans in the new year, along with changes to CPP and EI contributions

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s affordability measures take effect in 2023'
Alberta’s affordability measures take effect in 2023
WATCH ABOVE: The new year is on our doorstep, and as the calendar flips, some things will be changing that will have an impact on Albertans' bottom lines. Nicole Stillger takes a look at what people should know – Dec 30, 2022

Starting next week, Albertans will start to see new relief measures that were announced in the past few months.

The province will drop the provincial gas tax by 13 cents per litre, though because former premier Jason Kenney dropped part of the tax earlier this year, the real change will be only about four cents per litre.

Inflation relief, announced in Premier Danielle Smith’s televised address near the end of November, should come in January.

Middle- to lower-income families, those with a household income of less than $180,000 a year, are to get $600 over six months for each child under 18 years of age.

The same income threshold and benefit applies to seniors, and the payout will also go to those on disability supports.

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Click to play video: 'Smith unveils plan to tackle affordability crisis in Alberta'
Smith unveils plan to tackle affordability crisis in Alberta

The ministry for affordability and utilities said the first of six payments will come in January.

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“We will be using data from the CRA to verify that applicants meet the income threshold, alongside other steps to verify the identity and residency of each applicant. This will reduce the risk of fraud and ensure the money goes to the people who need it,” said spokesperson Andrea Farmer.

She said more details, including more specific timing, is coming in early January.

From January to March, electricity consumers on the regulated rate option will not be charged more than 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour. Any costs above that will be deferred until rates drop, and repaid over 21 months.

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Another change on the federal side that will come into effect once 2023 starts: Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums are increasing.

Starting in 2019, annual CPP contribution rates started going up. Canadians earning $54,900 per year will contribute about $10 more per month in 2022 than in 2021.

The estimated maximum yearly contribution will increase by about $200 in 2023.

There are changes coming to the EI benefit after years of pandemic labour issues drained the piggybank.

The maximum insurable earnings, the income level up to which EI premiums are paid, will increase starting Sunday.

This means that an insured worker will pay EI premiums on insured earnings up to $61,500. For every $100 of salary up to that maximum, the worker will pay $1.63.

At the most, an insured worker will pay just over $1000 in 2023, compared with $950 in 2022.

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