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WHITEHORSE – Four months after an initial call to suspend the territorial fuel tax in the face of rising inflation, the Yukon Party Official Opposition is once again asking the Liberal government to stop collecting the fuel tax until inflation eases.
The renewed call comes as data from other jurisdictions shows prices at the pump are lower in areas where collection of the provincial fuel tax was suspended. Trevor Tombe, a University of Calgary economist and former member of the territorial Liberals’ Financial Advisory Panel, has shown that the Alberta government decision to suspend collection of their fuel tax has led to significant savings for the consumer. Tombe told the Calgary Sun that about 10 cents out of the total 13-cents-a-litre tax saving is being passed on to consumers.
By suspending the tax in early March, the Liberals could have saved Yukoners hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars. Instead, the Minister of Economic Development called the idea a ‘boutique policy’, and the Premier dismissed this suggested tax relief as ‘parlour tricks’. Now months later, as Yukoners are being buried by inflation, the Premier and his team continue to ignore this issue.
“Yukoners are growing frustrated with the price at the pump as we enter August,” said Kluane MLA Wade Istchenko. “If the Premier had actually listened and suspended the territorial fuel tax as suggested in March, Yukoners would be better positioned to ride out this period of inflation. Instead, like they did in the spring, the Liberals are dismissive of the idea and it is Yukoners who are again paying the true cost of this government’s inaction.”