Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson announced Thursday morning a $200-million Carbon Tax Relief Fund aimed at helping 700,000 Manitobans cope with the negative impacts of rising winter costs, from food to fuel.
The 2023 Carbon Tax Relief Fund will provide help for all Manitobans who lived in the province on December 31st, 2021, and whose family net income that year was less than $175,000.
“Last fall, we pledged to continue to help Manitobans as help was needed,” said Stefanson. “Given the cost shock Manitobans are facing this winter from the federal carbon tax and other related increases, we believe Manitobans need our support again now.”
In today's announcement, the premier reiterated the Manitoba government’s calls for the federal government to put an immediate halt on the carbon tax and its harmful increases.
The Carbon Tax Relief Fund will provide $225 per single person and $375 per couple. For couples, the lower income earner will receive the payment.
Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index reached a near 40-year high in June 2022 in Manitoba, peaking at 9.4 per cent growth year over year. In December 2022, the rate of growth was eight per cent, the highest among all provinces.
“Food and transportation costs have risen dramatically in the last few months, putting pressure on family finances,” said Stefanson. “But every family’s circumstances are different, and they will know how to best spend this money to help them make ends meet.”
The premier noted that the 2023 Carbon Tax Relief Fund is part of an $850-million package that will be detailed in the coming days meant to:
- address financial pressures within the health-care system;
- support Manitoba municipalities with targeted project funding; and
- help communities and industries to continue to recover.
Today’s funding commitment, the premier added, also builds on an initial 2022 program that provided approximately 145,000 families with children and a household income of less than $175,000 with a cheque for $250 for the first child and $200 for each additional child, and more than 52,000 seniors with less than $40,000 in family income a cheque for $300.
In addition, the first phase of the affordability package provided Manitobans receiving Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) a long-overdue increase to the basic needs rate, the premier said. EIA general assistance clients without dependent children began receiving an extra $50 per adult each month, and all EIA disability clients began receiving an additional $25 per household each month.