Rate hikes come with new year

Jan. 1 has also come to mark the day when yet more rate hikes take effect

New Year’s Day of course heralds a fresh step forward.

But increasingly, Jan. 1 has also come to mark the day when yet more rate hikes take effect.

Like the march of time, ever forward, tax and fee increases never seem to shrink on New Year’s Day but continue, ever higher, ever widening the gap between what we earn and what they take from us.

On Jan. 1, 2016 Medical Service Premiums will rise from $3 per month for a single person earning more than $30,000 per year — hardly a living wage. A family of two, in that same category, will pay $5.50 more per month and a family of three or more, again earning more than $30,000 per year, will pay $6 more each month.

That’s $36, $66 and $72 more per year, respectively.

A few bucks might not seem like a lot, but a few bucks here and there, there and here, certainly does add up.

This year, expect to pay more in ICBC basic rates, hydro, rent, cable, telephone and internet services and other stuff as every level of government, Crown corporation and business that can get away with charging you more, will charge you more.

And while our dollar plummets, and groceries are increasingly expensive, the gouging continues.

Those of us who can still afford to buy liquor no doubt indulged on New Year’s Eve.

2016 is a brave new year. When the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, many of us made new years resolutions.

None, we’re sure, will resolve to voluntarily pay more in taxes and fees.

If only government and Crown corporations would resolve to manage taxpayers’ hard-earned and increasingly scarce money competently, it would indeed be a happy new year.

-Black Press / Penticton Western News