Not angry, but not happy.
That sums up what many are feeling regarding the tax increases unveiled in Wednesday’s Saskatchewan budget.
Taxes on both alcohol and cigarettes – or sin taxes – are increasing, both provincially and federally.
At midnight, PST rose from five per cent to six per cent. Come April 1, it’ll also be expanded to cover things like children’s clothes and restaurant meals.
After word of the tax hike, some liquor stores instantly became busier. Josh Gross said he was purposely stocking up on booze before prices went up.
“I’m not surprised with this government, honestly,” he said, admitting that he thought the PST should have went up years ago.
Gross said while he’s frustrated on some fronts, he also doesn’t mind paying more for alcohol. What bugs him is targeting those who can’t afford to pay more.
“It’s kind of terrible. The biggest thing is it’s going to affect a lot of low income families.”
Janice Friesen is in that boat. With two young kids, she’ll feel the impact of the increases.
“It’s really hard to even just get the needs for my children right now … so with the taxes going up it’s actually pretty devastating,” she said. “I get pretty upset. I honestly think that they’re just out for the money.”
Others understand raising taxes was inevitable given the province’s current financial problems.
“I feel like it’s not a terrible idea for the situation that the province is in,” said Joe Dwyer on the tax hikes.
He said he believes a one per cent hike to the PST to day-to-day purchases won’t be noticeable so he said he’s not bothered.