Thursday, February 9, 2012

Taxed in Quebec, Canada

We pay SO MUCH tax... My net income is 70% of what it would be (30% tax) and I'm very close to the average salary here I think. After that, our sales tax is 15% (provincial and federal together) on anything we buy. Driver's licenses and vehicle registration is CRAZY expensive too, especially for motorcycles which are used for just a couple months out of the year. Cigarettes are taxed like crazy too and I'm pretty sure alcohol is more expensive here because of being taxed.

We have a lot of programs though. Ones I know most about are for children. I get a pretty decent amount of money for having kids... This amount is based on the family revenue and what I'm getting now is based on 2010 the year my husband only worked 3.5 months so it was lower than with two full salaries and it gives me about 8500$ for that year in amounts received monthly or every 3 months (some federal, some provincial). It's not a bad supplement.

As well, we get credits that reimburse part or all of the sales tax paid depending on how much we make. These days I seem to be getting back about the equivalent of 10% of the sales tax that I pay, but someone with a very low income would get it all back (the 15% sale tax) in quarterly deposits. So it's not too bad for them on that. They also don't pay income tax if they make under a certain amount but I think it's like that everywhere.

My cousin has 3 kids and their revenue is low enough that she gets the maximum in all credits. She gets about 1500$/month so 18 000$ a year for the kids.

As frustrating as it is to pay like we do, most people accept that it's for the best. Because of this money families get, every child has the possibility of being well-dressed, owning a computer, taking courses outside of school, going to college and university and having a better situation than their parents did. No one is stuck in the poor cycle except by the way they were raised and values their parents taught them.

There's a lot of controversy about how the government spends our money and there's so much waste. SO MUCH. I don't know anyone who is against universal healthcare though despite this and the crazy high taxes. And I've never heard of negative comments from people without children about how they pay for another person's maternity leave or pay for their child benefits. It's the way it is simply.

Another program that is interesting is for young moms, especially high school drop outs. My cousin seriously sucked in school and had not even completed grade 7 when she had her daughter (she had been failing for 3 years...). She entered a program that paid for her to finish the amount of high school needed to go to hairdressing school. It paid her an amount that she was able to live on. Rent, food, transportation, daycare. It was not a hardship for her to get herself out of a life of working the crappiest of the crap jobs even if she had a baby so young. She was able to get it done and work a decent job as a hairdresser with the help of this program.

When I see the situations they show on TV of teens giving up their baby for adoption or teens keeping the baby but having to depend on their parents to take care of both them and the baby... It's just not something that happens here so it's kind of shocking for me. Babies don't go up for adoption. If they don't want the baby, they get an abortion, but a lot keep the baby and can still go on to a good independent life after the initial period of needing help.

9 Comentários:

LK said...

You all are still in a better position than a lot of us in the US. In the US you need to be dirt poor or horrbily rich. The middle class gets screwed.

NeverEver said...

yeah... i'm gonna ditto LK.

Becky said...

Heh, we have even higher taxes in DK :P

I'm low-income (as a student), get taxed about 45% on income, and then there's a 25% sales tax on EVERYTHING. And even higher taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and especially cars.

But, average income is also higher than in North America, and minimum wages are about 18$ an hour.

And like Canada, we do get a lot of benefits, including free health care, free education (you actually get paid to study, not a lot, about $1000 a month (not enough to live on in Copenhagen, but it all helps)), subsidized child card, paid parental leave, paid sick leave, very good unemployment care (although most, like me, are members of an unemployment insurance, as it's almost twice as much you get from them), child support money (and you get double the student grant if you're a single parent).

And like you said about Canada, you do not have to give up a child for adoption, or rely on your parents, if you become pregnant when you're alone, or young, or both. My sister was 17 when she became pregnant with my nephew, and she's been a single parent ever since (he's about to turn 5 next month). She lived with my mum the first 2-3 months after he was born, but that was for the support, not for financial reasons, and ever since then she's lived by herself.

Candice said...

LK and NeverEver: Totally... It seems to me that our rich are definitely not as rich as the ones in the USA, but the poor are not as poor.

Becky: Wow, I didn't know how high the taxes were in Denmark, but for sure I knew you had all the programs we did and probably more and probably better. I guess that money has to come from somewhere! :P Our minimum salary is getting close to 10$. I think it might be 9.50$ right now but I'm not 100% sure. 18$ is a lot of money!

It's great about your sister. It's sad that having a child could literally ruin someone's life in other places.

Becky said...

Well, we do also have the highest taxes in the world :) But, like our said, our income is also higher for the same reason.

I can totally relate to what you said about our poor not being as poor, and our rich not being as rich. Much of Danish society is build upon the philosophies of a Danish pastor/theologist who lived in the late 19th, beginning of the 20th century, Grundtvig. My favourite quote by him is: "Then we have come far in riches, when few have too much and fewer not enough." (Da har i velstand vi drevet det vidt, når få har for meget og færre for lidt. English translation is my own). That's my political philosophy as well.

Candice said...

I love love love that quote! I will have to post it on Facebook and I'll tag you :) If you don't mind.

Becky said...

Of course I don't mind :) And yeah, I love it as well, I think it's beautiful.

Hebah said...

I don't understand why you are complaining, you get Free health care, free schooling, and so what you have to pay taxes, poor you.
Let's all feel sorry for you because you have to pay for taxes. We american's have to pay for taxes to, and what do we get from it, nothing! we have to pay for health insurance, and schools. because all our tax money goes to fund wars. I say be thankful that at least your goverment gives back. (I don't mean to be rude but you'll probably take it that way, so whatever.)

Candice said...

Hebah: If I had to summarize my post in one sentence, it would be:
We pay a lot of taxes and it's frustrating how much waste there is, but overall it's totally worth it to give every citizen an equal chance, unlike some other countries.

I think that yes, you were being rude, but the first word that comes to mind is bitch.

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