The Conservatives are very brave. After scorching the Earth around the words “carbon tax”, they have finally decided that pricing carbon is a good idea. Mind you, they are very carefully trying to call their carbon tax by another name, but as they were so fond of saying – it’s still a tax!
My complements to party leader Erin O’Toole. Thanks to him, the Conservatives finally have a plan offering some details on how to address the climate crisis. However, one of the details, the Low Carbon Savings Account (LCSA), is counterproductive. When you burn fossil fuels, the tax will go into your LCSA. In other words, the more you burn, the more you earn. That is not going to lower emissions.
Under our current federal Climate Action plan, an average family gets a rebate of $436 which could be spent as they decided. However, as they burn more fossil fuel, the carbon tax would effectively reduce the amount of the rebate available to spend on other things.
With the Conservative plan, you have to get permission from the government on what you may do with the money sitting in your LCSA – very strange from a party that always calls for less government interference in people’s lives.
Another problem with the LCSA is the two additional levels of administration required. Instead of sending all of the tax to the government, each tax payment has to be sent to a particular individual’s LCSA.
Then, instead of providing a known rebate on individual tax returns, the government has to decide whether the money in each individual’s LCSA is being spent on acceptable climate related items. Sounds like a lot of red tape. Sounds expensive to administer. I prefer the current federal plan much better!