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Cost of living has to be a focus in 2022 federal budget

Posted on April 6, 2022 by Taber Times

The cost to live in Canada seems to be getting higher and higher, and we’re sure most people in southern Alberta agree with that statement. And sure, the pandemic didn’t help the situation at all, but it’s not like it was all that much better pre-pandemic. Unless you’re making high five-figure or six-figure salaries, the bigger pinch on most people’s budgets over the past two years has been hard.

The beginning of 2022 has been more of the same, and even though COVID restrictions have been lifted in Alberta, things are still tough on the financial side. Overall inflation is massive and the cost of food and gas prices are some of the big ones that can be noticed right away — it sure seems long-term relief isn’t coming soon, unfortunately.

After Ipsos polled 1,500 Canadians in an online survey completed from March 11-16, those asked listed their three priorities for the 2022 budget — 53 per cent said the cost of everyday needs due to inflation is something they’d like to see as a priority in the upcoming budget. And it’s no wonder why many feel this way. Go into a grocery store and it’s obvious walking down the aisles that the cost of food has gone up. Driving is getting expensive with gas prices hiking up well above $1.50 a litre, and while there may be some short term relief from the provincial government at the moment, does anyone expect gas to fall down to around $1 any time soon? Probably not. The days of cheap fuel seem very much like the past at this point.

The federal government should be looking at this issue very seriously and it needs to be addressed sooner than later. And by no means is it a fixable issue overnight — but everyday Canadians are struggling to make ends meet. Wages aren’t going up to cover the rising inflation costs, so how much longer is this sustainable?

The budget will drop in just a few days on April 7, so we’ll soon see an answer as to how much the cost of living is touched on. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has stated the feds are indeed looking to tackle this issue, but talking and doing it are two different things.

According to numbeo.com, Canada ranks as the 25th most expensive country to live in in 2022. For context, the U.S. ranks 26th, while Bermuda, Switzerland, and Norway rank first, second, and third, respectively. So while Canada may not be amongst the highest countries on the list, that really doesn’t matter on the ground level.

And that’s true not only in Canada but across the world. Coming out of a global pandemic, it was obvious things were going to look fairly bleak.

So while Alberta has left COVID behind in 2022, there’s still plenty of work to do as we look to bounce back from two years of being locked down and restricted.

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