FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 14, 2023
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is calling on Finance Minister Sandy Silver to bring forward the priorities of Yukoners at the federal, provincial, and territorial meeting of Finance Ministers on December 15. In particular, the Yukon Party wants to see the Yukon join with the newly elected Premier of the Northwest Territories in calling for an exemption to the federal Liberal carbon tax.
“As the holidays approach, Yukoners are continuing to struggle with the remarkably high cost of living, and they have taken note of the inaction from the territorial Liberal government,” said Leader Currie Dixon. “While the Finance Minister has largely been checked out since he announced he is leaving, we encourage him to show up for Yukoners at this important meeting of Finance Ministers, and actually advocate for Yukoners.”
In addition to calling for a Northern exemption to the Liberal carbon tax, the Yukon Party Official Opposition is also joining business organizations like the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) in calling for a pause on several major tax hikes that are planned for the new year.
On January 1, Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) premiums will rise, and on April 1, the federal alcohol excise tax will increase. According to the CFIB both the CPP and EI changes will increase payroll taxes for workers by up to $348 in 2024, and by up to $366 per employee for employers. Total employer contributions for CPP and EI changes could amount up to $5,524 per employee in 2024.
Additionally, the Alcohol Excise Tax will be adjusted to inflation on April 1, which is estimated to be an increase of approximately 3.5 per cent according to current legislation. In the 2023 budget, the federal government implemented a cap of 2 per cent on this tax increase, but that cap is set to expire in 2024.
The Yukon Party Official Opposition is echoing the call of Restaurants Canada, and other hospitality industry representatives in calling for the cap on the federal Alcohol Excise Tax escalator to be maintained in 2024.
“Restaurants and the hospitality industry are struggling with the rising cost of everything, as well as recovering from the pandemic,” said Tourism and Culture Critic Geraldine Van Bibber. “A cap on the Alcohol Tax will help ease the inflationary pressure on small businesses as they continue their recovery from the past few years.”