January 9, 2017
For Immediate Release

Liberals’ Talk of Making Gas Tax Permanent to Meet Carbon Tax Obligations is Concerning

Barry Petten, Environment Critic for the Official Opposition, is calling on the Environment Minister to clarify his statement that the province is looking at making a portion of the increased gas tax permanent‎ in order to meet the province’s carbon tax obligations under the agreement the Ball Liberals just made with Ottawa.

“The Ball government assured people last spring that their massive gas tax increase would be temporary. Even as a temporary measure, the increased gas tax has outraged people because of its heavy impact on the costs of driving, and of buying food and other products that are transported ‎around our province,” said Petten. “The increased gas tax is causing hardship for families and hurting our economy by making local employers less competitive. People want the gas tax cut back. They don’t want any part of that increased tax to become permanent. It is not a logical option.”

Petten said, “The Muskrat Falls Project represents our province’s action on greenhouse gas reduction. The Liberals have been so intent on condemning the project that they are unwilling to acknowledge that it is one of the most important initiatives anywhere in Canada to reduce carbon emissions. Muskrat Falls will do our part in reducing carbon emissions, and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should not have to pay twice through their taxes at the pumps.”

“Minister Trimper talks about wanting to ensure that the carbon tax measures they introduce don’t hurt our economy. But what he doesn’t seem to realize is that his own Liberal government’s increased gas tax is already having a major negative impact on our economy.

“The extra tax that consumers pay for gas is money they cannot spend on other things to drive our local economy. When they pay more for food because the gas tax is raising freight costs, that is also money they cannot spend on other things. When local employers have to pay more to run their operations because of the higher gas tax, they are less competitive, and that hurts their bottom line and costs jobs in this province. ‎Those are reasons to avoid raising taxes. It’s time to lower the gas tax, not consider making the tax permanent,” said Petten.

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Media Contact:
Heather MacLean
Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105
[email protected]