The NDP government should come clean on the full cost of the carbon tax in classrooms across Alberta and the higher bus and school fees that will be paid by parents, Wildrose Shadow Education Minister Mark Smith said today.
A media estimate pegs the cost increase for filling the tanks of the 500 school buses for the Edmonton Public School Board alone at $6,000 to $10,200. Under the NDP carbon tax plan, diesel tax rates are set to increase an additional 50 per cent in 2018.
The NDP government has confirmed there are no exemptions from the carbon tax for school districts.
“This carbon tax will impact every school board across the province and only make things worse for families and classrooms at a time when Albertans can least afford it” Smith said. “Families who are already experiencing job losses and wage cuts shouldn’t be further punished just because their children have to take a bus in the morning. The NDP government broke their election promise to cut school fees, and now instead bus fees, property taxes, and other tax hikes will be hitting the pocketbooks of Alberta families.”
The Edmonton Public School Board is estimating its heating costs will increase by $630,000 in 2017. The carbon tax rate on natural gas is also set to increase another 50 per cent in 2018.
“This is just another example of the NDP government misleading Albertans about the full costs of its carbon tax on families. School boards have shared with me the same concerns in meeting with them across the province,” Smith said. “It not only means higher costs in our classrooms, but higher costs for just about everything else. Adding extra costs to parents and classrooms during a time like this just doesn’t make sense.”