With the federal government set to release its budget for 2023 this week, inflation and taxes are top of mind for many Canadians, new polling shows.
Roughly two out of five Canadians, or 43 per cent, want the upcoming budget from the Liberal government to ease the pain of surging prices, according to an Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News that was released Monday.
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s finance minister and deputy prime minister, has pledged that the 2023 budget will include “targeted” support to help vulnerable Canadians but will not “pour fuel on the fire of inflation.”
Women were more likely (52 per cent) than men (34 per cent) to prioritize help with inflation relief as their main budget topic, the Ipsos poll showed.
The high costs are also of particular concern for younger Canadians, with nearly half of those aged 35-54 years listing it as their top priority.
Taxes are another pressing issue for Canadians, with 37 per cent saying they want the government to lower them, and 22 per cent demanding higher taxes on the wealthy.
There have been growing calls in Canada and around the world to tax the “ultra rich” as wealth inequality is increasing.
In an Ipsos poll conducted last year, an overwhelming majority of Canadians (80 per cent) said that governments should tax the rich more.
The federal government has been looking at ways to do that and ensure tax fairness, but critics in favour of more taxes on the highest earners say more needs to be done.
The Liberal government’s 2022 budget included a proposed surtax of 1.5 per cent on bank profits over $100 million, as well as a one-time 15 per cent charge on income above $1 billion for the 2021 tax year.
Health care is the third-ranked budget priority for Canadians, the Ipsos poll showed, with 35 per cent saying they want the federal government to invest more.
Earlier this year, Ottawa reached a $196-billion health-care funding deal with provinces and territories, of which roughly $46 billion would be new money.
Hospitals and health-care workers across the country continue to face increasing strain, with staff shortages, long wait times and surgery backlogs – compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canadians are also keeping a close eye on overall government expenditure, with 17 per cent of respondents saying they would like to see fewer dollars being spent as part of the new budget.
The budget will be released on Tuesday.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 20 to 22, 2023, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
— with files from the Global News’ Craig Lord.