The average Canadian family spends more on taxes than on basic necessities including food, clothing and shelter, a new study revealed on Thursday.
The study entitled "Canadian Consumer Tax Index, tracking the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2014," was made by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
"Over the past five decades, the tax bill for the average Canadian family has ballooned, and now the amount of money going to taxes is greater than what's spent on life's basic necessities," said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of report.
In 2014, the average Canadian family (including unattached Canadians) earned 79,010 Canadian dollars (59,257 U.S. dollars) and paid 33,272 Canadian dollars (24,954 U.S. dollars) in total taxes compared to 28,887 Canadian dollars (21,665 U.S. dollars) on food, clothing and shelter combined.
In other words, 42.1 percent of income went to taxes while 36.6 percent went to basic necessities.
This represents a remarkable shift since 1961, when the average family spent 33.5 percent on taxes and 56.5 percent on food, clothing and shelter, the study said.
The total tax bill reflects both visible and hidden taxes that families pay to the federal, provincial and local governments, including income taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, health taxes, fuel taxes, alcohol taxes and others.
Since 1961, the average Canadian family's total tax bill increased by 1,886 percent, dwarfing increases in annual food costs of 561 percent, clothing of 819 percent and shelter of 1,366 percent.