Consumerwatch: New taxes, fees in 2013
Published Monday, December 31, 2012 11:46AM CST
Last Updated Monday, December 31, 2012 1:36PM CST
Manitobans can expect their pay cheques to be a bit smaller in 2013. New legislation has Canada Pension Plan rates and old age security benefits set to rise on Jan. 1 by almost two per cent.
Manitobans will also have to dig deeper into their pockets if they take public transportation. Winnipeg Transit bus passes are going up by more than $5 and individual adult fares are going up by a nickel.
In addition, Manitoba Hydro has proposed a 3.5 per cent rate increase. Not only will living in Manitoba cost you more but so will trying to get out.
Winnipeg’s airport is increasing its departure fee by $5 to make it $25.
“It’s going to hurt Manitobans in the New Year,” said Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “All these taxes are going up higher than what our pay cheques are going up by.”
Credit counsellor Scott Hannah says that means resolving to get spending under control.
“Determining where their money is going and looking at every expense item and then saying, ‘Where can I cut back 10 to 15 per cent?’ ” is what Hanna recommends Manitobans do before the year starts. “It’s not a question of ‘Can I do this?’ It’s, ‘I have to do this!’ ”
Hannah recommends creating an automatic savings program, looking into low-interest credit cards and no-fee checking accounts, reevaluating cell-phone, cable, Internet and phone packages and avoiding offsetting debt with high-interest credit cards.
“It’s a tough time for a lot of people but also an opportunity to look at where their money is going,” said Hanna.