Some of these new laws and rules will affect consumers’ wallets more than others. (Photo: iStock)
A new year usually signals a whole slew of new laws and rules coming into effect in Canada, and it was no different this January 1, 2017. However, some of these new laws and rules will affect consumers’ wallets more than others.
- Lower EI payroll deductions but higher CPP premium payroll deductions
In September 2016, the federal government announced that it had lowered the Employment Insurance premium for workers and employers, which means less money will be deducted from paycheques for EI.
The premium in Canada, with the exception of Quebec, was lowered from $1.88 per $100 earned to $1.63. That could mean a yearly savings of $118.85 for taxpayers that make $51,300 and more. In Quebec, the premium was lowered from $1.52 per $100 to $1.27.
The savings for EI premium deductions are partially offset through Canada Pension Plan premium deductions having risen by $19.80 for Canadians making $55,300 or more.
- Carbon pricing, tax comes to two provinces
In order to fight climate change in Canada, the federal government has created a national strategy on fighting carbon emissions.
As a result, a new carbon tax was introduced in Alberta, effective January 1. The tax is $20 per tonne, and rises to $30 per tonne in 2018. It’s estimated that this will cost Albertans about $443 per year in transportation and heating costs. Some rebates are available for middle or lower-income residents.
In Ontario, a cap-and-trade program has kicked in. The program, which aims to reduce greenhouse emissions by 15 per cent below 1990 levels, will cost Ontarians 4.3 cents per litre more in gasoline and $6.70 in higher home heating costs. Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk estimates that households will pay an average of $156 for the program in 2017.
- Cost of payday loans fall in Ontario
The cost of borrowing a payday loan is to lower from $21 per $100 borrowed to $18. Ontario’s move to lower the cost of these high-interest loans comes on the heels of Alberta having done the same in August 2016.
Given Alberta and Ontario have lowered payday loan rates, it seems likely other provinces will eventually follow suit.