Albertans will continue to save the 13-cent provincial fuel tax on every litre of gasoline or diesel they purchase for at least another three months.
Premier Jason Kenney said his government was pleased to extend this important relief measure until the end of September.
“We’re helping Albertans save money through the fuel tax relief program at a time of need. While fuel prices have continued to increase nationwide, Albertans still pay considerably less than their provincial neighbours,” said Kenney in a statement.
With the corresponding reduction in GST, this amounts to total savings of about $6.80 per tank for a compact car (50 litres), $7.21 for a small SUV (53 litres), $12.65 for a mid-size SUV (93 litres), $18.50 for a large pickup truck (136 litres) and $185.50 for a semi-trailer (1,364 litres).
The province says its committed to evaluating the program quarterly and reinstating it in stages only if the average price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil fell below $90 per barrel.
For the four-week period ending June 15, WTI averaged $115.88 per barrel.
The province will re-evaluate the program in September.
“Countless Albertans have told us how much the program has helped them during these challenging economic times. With the program’s extension, Alberta’s government is continuing to support Albertans and their ability to afford everyday goods,” says Finance Minister Jason Nixon.
The province says it continues to call on Ottawa to consider similar consumer relief measures. If the federal government paused the collection of both the federal carbon tax and the federal fuel tax while the price of WTI oil remained above $90 per barrel, drivers would save almost $22 more on every 100 litres of gasoline.
NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley was pleased the gas tax was paused, but it’s a cheap political ploy for the UPC to point to the federal government instead of doing more things within their power to help Albertans, like increasing the electricity rebate, or capping electricity rates.
“It’s meant to distract Albertans and I don’t think it’s working,” Ganley said.