• Liberal Caucus

Conservatives Add to Island Cost of Living Challenges

Conservative decisions are beginning to have a measurable impact on the Island’s cost of living, says Liberal Finance Critic Heath MacDonald.

“Statistics Canada says the main factor in the cost of living increase was the Conservative decision to reinstate drivers’ license fees,” MacDonald said.

Statistics Canada reported yesterday that cost of living on the Island rose the highest in Canada in January 2020 – and tied with Alberta at 3.0 per cent.

The report from Statistics Canada says:

“Consumers paid more for passenger operating expenses in Prince Edward Island following the reinstatement of driver’s licence fees and a 25 per cent increase in passenger vehicle registration fees in January. These fees were temporarily eliminated or reduced in January 2019 as a result of a provincial initiative to redistribute carbon levy proceeds to residents of the province.”

In an era of rising prices, the Conservative decision to reinstate driving charges is harmful to thousands of Islanders, MacDonald said.

This year, the Conservatives received $156 million more in revenue than expected. In December, the federal government announced an additional $46 million in transfer payments for the coming fiscal year.

“In a time of rising revenue for government – and more cost of living pressure on Islanders – it makes no sense to raise fees. Given the impact these decisions are having on Islanders, I would expect government to announce measures designed to ease these cost of living pressures.” MacDonald said.

“This should be an important lesson to government that short sighted decision making can have a major impact on Islanders – most importantly those struggling with the cost of living.”

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