VANCOUVER – A new study says the average Canadian family was spending more on taxes than on food, shelter and clothing combined. The Fraser Institute study says that in 2013, the average Canadian family earned $77,381 and paid $32,369 in total taxes _ or 41.8 per cent of income _ compared with 36.1 per cent for food, shelter and clothing combined. By comparison, in 1961 the average family earned about $5,000 and spent 56.5 per cent of its income on food, shelter and clothing, while $1,675 went to taxes (33.5 per cent). The study says the total tax bill represents both visible and hidden taxes paid to the federal, provincial and local governments. This includes income taxes, payroll taxes, health taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes, vehicle taxes, import taxes, alcohol and tobacco taxes. The think tank says that since 1961, the average Canadian family’s total tax bill has increased by 1,832 per cent, moving past increases in shelter costs (1,375 per cent), clothing (620 per cent) and food (546 per cent). The Fraser Institute says with more money going to the government, families have less for their spending priorities, saving for education and retirement, and paying down debt.
CP | By Alexandra Bosanac, The Canadian Press