A study by the Fraser Institute found Canadians support for federal support programs plummet when they find out they need to pay for them.
- $10/day daycare – without and with costs attached
- dental care – without and with costs attached
- pharma care – without and with costs attached
In the new study Canadians were asked about their support for the federal programs which included childcare, dentalcare and pharma care in which when they were informed they will need to pay for it, the support plummets to 4 out of 10 Canadians.
The $10/day daycare portion of the study focused on using GST as the example to relate the tax to for the source of funding because it is the most visible and understandable to Canadians because of everyday purchases.
For the $10/day daycare when initially introduced the support was high with 69% across Canada without knowing where the funding would come from. The total national support nosedives to just 36% if the program is paid for by an increase of just 1% in GST.
$10/day daycare with no costs attached
When respondents are asked is the support it with no cost attached and where the funding will be from its a majority in support nation wide with an average of 68%.
Atlantic with a large 88% majority support and the rest of the provinces showing a with a little less, Alberta 69%, B.C 68%, Quebec 68%, Ontario 65%, Parries 63%
$10/day daycare with costs attached
When there is a 1% increase of GST, British Columbia and Alberta showed the lowest support with only 35% in favour of the national daycare program. Parries 38%, Ontario 40%, Atlantic 45% and Quebec 28%
Support is lowest for it in both Alberta and British Columbia with only 35% of respondents in each province in favour of a national daycare program.
Support for National Pharmacare, No Cost Attached
A large majority (79%) of Canadians were in favor of pharma care when there was no cost attached to the planned program.
The highest support with no cost attached came from Atlantic Canada 90% and the rest of Canada a little lower but still a majority, Ontario 79%, B.C 77%, Quebec 77%, Alberta 76%, Parries 74%
Support for National Pharmacare, GST Increase Included
When respondents are told GST will be increased to pay for the program, national support plummets from a majority of 79% down to a Canada average minority 40%.
Broken down by province the least support is shown in Quebec 29% and Alberta 35%. The other provinces also see a massive drop B.C 40%, Ontario 45%, Parries 45%, Atlantic Canada 52%
Support for National Dental Care, No Cost Attached
With dental care with no costs added a majority of Canada supported it with 79%. The most support was shown in Atlantic Canada with 80%, second is Quebec with 76% and this is British Columbia 75%. The rest were a bit lower Ontario 71%, Prairies 70% and Alberta 63%
Support for National Dental Care, GST increase included
When Canadians were told there would be a increase to GST to pay for the program the support slashed nearly in half with a Canada wide average 42%. The lowest support is from Alberta 28%, and British Columbians lowered their support to 42%, Ontario 44%,
Quebec 44%, Prairies 48% and Atlantic Canada 50%
“Despite the federal government’s borrow-now, pay-for-it-later approach to public
programs, Canadians need to be aware that these new programs have significant costs
that will have to be paid for by taxpayers eventually,” said Jake Fuss, associate
director of fiscal policy research at the Fraser Institute
While previous polls revealed that dental care, pharmacare, and daycare programmes are popular, these polls did not ask respondents about their feelings about the price.
The total yearly cost of the fully implemented schemes is anticipated to be $1.7 billion for national dental care, $7.9 billion for childcare, and $15.3 billion for pharmacare.
In its 2022 budget proposal, the Trudeau government aims to launch a national dental care plan for children under the age of 12, then expand it to cover children under the age of 18 as well as seniors. The plan seeks to completely implement the program by 2025 for those earning less than $90,000/year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also reached agreements with all ten provinces to roll out a childcare scheme that aims to reduce the cost of all federally approved daycares to $10 per day.
While legislation for national pharmacare programs has yet to be introduced in the House of Commons, the Liberals hope to have it in place by the end of 2023, with the government defining “essential medications” and purchasing them in bulk for more than $15 billion per year.
“The reality of any new or expanded government program is that at some point Canadians have to pay for them, either in the form of higher taxes or less spending on other programs,” Fuss said.
The study had a total of 1,509 people surveyed, with a margin of error of ±2.49%, 19 times out of 20.