This week, eligible individuals who receive GST credit payments may have also received an additional "grocery rebate" distributed as of July 5.
What is the grocery rebate? It is a one-time payment to eligible families and individuals based on their 2021 income tax return. Note that filing a tax return for 2021 is mandatory to be eligible for this program. Payments are based on income, with the same cut-offs as the current GST credit limits. Maximum payments range from $234 for a single individual to up to $628 for a family of four.
Some have asked if there is a requirement to purchase groceries or submit receipts from grocery stores to be eligible for this program? The answer is no, there is no such requirement.
It has also been asked why this rebate is called a "grocery rebate" if there is no requirement to purchase groceries? The answer is it’s a political term used by the government to suggest it is addressing rising grocery prices created partly by the government's carbon tax regime.
Eligible individuals should expect to receive their one-time grocery rebate payment by July 15. If you believe you are eligible but have not received payment by July 15, please contact my office for assistance.
Single individuals who earn over $52,225 and families with two children earning over $62,175 do not qualify for any GST credit amount. That income cut-off is similar to other government rebate programs at both federal and provincial levels. As an example, consider a family with two adult students still living at home due to the inability to afford to live elsewhere. Their household income is nearly $90,000, so they do not benefit from any government rebate program. However, their monthly mortgage payment has gone from $1,982 to $3,254, an increase of $1,272 a month, or more than $15,000 annually, taken out of their net household income.
Many families are experiencing financial losses despite well-paying jobs. Covering local property tax due in July is now impossible for many, and those carrying other types of debt with variable interest face the same problem.
Unfortunately, the government continues to make little effort in combating inflation. Adding new Clean Fuel Regulations, higher carbon taxes, and annual escalator excise tax has, in turn, created more made-in-Canada inflation.
These policies also affect small business owners, significantly impacting freight and trucking expenses within Canada. Purchasing goods made outside of Canada from regions that do not impose such taxation measures is more affordable but unhealthy for Canadian manufacturers, producers, and consumers, who get stuck with higher prices.
This week's question is:
Should the federal government do more to fight inflation. Why or why not?
Feel free to contact me at [email protected] or call toll-free at 1-800-665-8711.
Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.