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The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on November 4, 2011. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on November 4, 2011. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canadian families spend more on taxes than food, shelter Add to ...

The average Canadian family now spends more money on taxes than on food, clothing and shelter, according to a report by the Fraser Institute.

“With growth in the total tax bill outpacing the cost of basic necessities, taxes now eat up more family income, so families have less money available to spend, save or pay down household debt,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute, in a statement.

The report from the Vancouver-based think tank found that last year, the average Canadian family spent 42.1 per cent of its income on taxes and 36.6 per cent on basic necessities. The average family in that year made $79,010 and paid $33,272 in total taxes while spending just $28,887 on food, clothing and shelter combined.

The institute tracks the numbers through its Canadian Consumer Tax Index, which tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2014. Taxes tracked include income, payroll, sales, property, health, fuel and alcohol.

Since 1961, the average Canadian family’s total tax bill increased by 1,886 per cent, outpacing increases in food, clothing and shelter, according to the index.

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