Canadians spent more on taxes than on food, clothing, shelter

Canadians have until the end of the month to file their income taxes. (SHUTTERSTOCK)

Canadians have until the end of the month to file their income taxes. (SHUTTERSTOCK)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:25 AM ET

The average Canadian family spent close to half its income on taxes last year - more than it paid for food, shelter and clothing combined, according to a new study from conservative think-tank the Fraser Institute.

In 2010, a family with an average income of $72,393 spent 41.3% of its income on taxes. Spending on food, clothing and shelter added up to 34% of the family income, the study found.

"Taxes have grown over the past 49 years to the point that the government is now the largest expenditure facing a family," Fraser Institute senior economist Niels Veldhuis said in a release.

Veldhuis is a co-author of the Canadian Consumer Tax Index, which tracks the prices of good and services that the government buys on behalf of Canadians. The study tracks the total tax bill of average Canadian families from 1961 to 2010.

In 1961, the average Canadian family spent 33.5% of its income on taxes, and 56.5% on food, clothing and shelter, the study found.

The report found that since 1961, the average family's tax bill has gone up by 1,686%. Over that same time period, spending on shelter increased by 1,175%, spending on food went up 498% and spending on clothing went up by 510%.

The consumer price index, an indicator of changes in consumer prices tracked by Statistics Canada, rose 642% from 1961 to 2010, the Fraser Institute said.


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