The Federal Budget

March 20th, 2007 by Potato

I haven’t had time to digest the latest federal budget yet. It does look very much to be the pork-barrel pre-election vote-buying budget many people thought it would be. The only really surprising thing about it is that the BQ was actually bought off by the money thrown their way. Ah, well, I guess Harper’s government has been exceedingly good to the Nation of Quebec.

One thing I did like was the new, stiffer fuel consumption tax/rebate on cars and trucks. Ontario has had a similar system for quite some time now, and I thought it was a good idea, but just an order of magnitude too small — $100 is not really enough to shift someone’s buying behaviour on a car that costs $25000 or more. The federal one is now a larger, more meaningful tax (or rebate), offering up to $2000 back for fuel-efficient hybrids (or ethanol/biodiesel, etc), and charging up to $4000 for the worst of the gas-guzzlers (though because trucks and cars are taxed at different rates, this may play out like the Ontario version, where a Hummer pays $400, but a Mustang Shelby pays $1200).

There’s no guarantee that this plan will stick though, if the government does manage to call an election this spring. However, this means that in Ontario at least, there is no longer a premium for buying a hybrid car. You simply go out, buy one, and then just keep saving money by using less gas. None of this payback-period stuff. I, of course, will be driving my gas-only Accord until it gets decrepit enough that I’m too afraid of it breaking down in the middle of nowhere (Guelph) before getting a replacement, but if I buy new then (I might not), then it’ll probably be a hybrid (and even if I buy used, it might be a hybrid)…

3 Responses to “The Federal Budget”

  1. Ben Says:

    Well with Quebec getting $4.1 of the $7 billion earmarked for balancing the “fiscal imblanace”, how could Gilles say no?

    Source (in case you’re curious)

  2. Potato Says:

    I figured he’d want to bring down the government just for the sheer, unadulterated hell of it. Then again, $4 billion does buy a lot of support…

  3. Wayfare Says:

    It will *”probably”* be a hybrid? It *”might”* be a hybrid? I’m pretty sure that if the car fairy brought you a shiny new non-hybrid car you’d turn it down.