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What happens to rebate cheques if Sask. stops collecting carbon tax?

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Despite the provincial government no longer collecting carbon tax on home heating bills, it still has not been decided whether or not the province will pay the tax on natural gas for January out of its own pocket.

It’s a decision that will be made in the coming weeks, but many residents still wonder what will happen to their rebate cheques.

“Obviously some people are concerned that if the provincial government goes through with this plan we might lose the rebates, but in reality even with the rebates according to the parliamentary budget officer, Saskatchewan families are already paying more in carbon tax than they are getting back in rebates,” Gage Haubrich, the prairie director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said.

“The amounts families can expect to receive in pollution pricing rebates is based on the projected proceeds in their province for the upcoming year,” Katherine Cuplinskas, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said in a statement.

“We are talking about three to four hundred dollars a year per SaskEnergy client so per household if you’d like. That makes a big difference and at particularly at a time when everything has gotten to be more expensive and the number of people are really struggling to make ends meet,” said Jason Childs an associate professor of economics at the University of Regina.

“People in Saskatchewan continue to pay the punitive carbon tax on every item aside from home heating, and we continue to call on the Trudeau government to scrap the carbon tax on everything for everyone,” the provincial government said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ottawa has not yet announced what the pollution rebates will be for 2024-25.

“The end goal is either to save the environment or to achieve fairness,” Childs said.

If Saskatchewan chooses to remit the funds, they will come from the General Revenue Fund or existing SaskEnergy funds.

If the company does not pay, that would be breaking federal law. MLA Dustin Duncan previously said he would be on the hook for the failed payments as he is the minister responsible for all major crown corporations.

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