Canadians are not happy with how the federal government has chosen to tackle rising food costs in its 2023-2024 budget.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland dropped the fiscal budget on Tuesday, and it includes a new one-time grocery rebate that’s supposed to “make life more affordable” for Canadians.
While there were reports of it earlier this week, Ottawa confirmed how much money people could get from the rebate, and many are unimpressed.
According to the budget, the grocery rebate would provide $2.5 billion in targeted inflation relief for low to modest-income Canadians and families.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how much people could get:
- Couples with two children — an extra $467
- Single Canadians without children — an extra $234
- Seniors — an extra $225
Many are saying this rebate, and other proposed federal initiatives, are mere “band-aid solutions.”
“The tactics in #FederalBudget2023 are a joke. A means tested grocery rebate?” tweeted one person. “These are bandaid solutions to hot topics. We need major reforms to housing, the largest cost for the majority of Canadians.”
The tactics in #FederalBudget2023 are a joke. A means tested grocery rebate? Fighting Junk Fees? Universal USB chargers? These are bandaid solutions to hot topics. We need major reforms to housing, the largest cost for the majority of Canadians.
— Sean McQuillan (@luckysean) March 28, 2023
Others don’t think this plan is addressing the real issues.
“Do not ever thank a government who offers a one time grocery rebate instead of addressing the systemic issues and monopolies that are causing high grocery prices,” said one Twitter user.
Do not ever thank a government who offers a one time grocery rebate instead of addressing the systemic issues and monopolies that are causing high grocery prices. A one time payment does NOTHING but feed our families once. How stupid do they think we are?
— Chief Lady Bird 🦅 ᐅᑮᒪᑫᐧᐱᓀᐢ (@chiefladybird) March 27, 2023
“Sorry isn’t this just a gift to the price gouging mega-grocers and an insignificant help to those who are hungry?” added another.
Sorry isn’t this just a gift to the price gouging mega-grocers and an insignificant help to those who are hungry?
Freeland’s budget to include grocery rebate for lower income Canadians, here’s what else to expect Tuesday https://t.co/3cmd0tYHoe
— Cheri DiNovo (@CheriDiNovo) March 28, 2023
So low-income people are getting a ‘grocery rebate’ that is just going to be used to buy groceries at the already money hungry grocers???
Yeah, I don’t know why I expected the government to make any good decisions.
Why not …address the actual issues?!
— Sammy Sprinkles 🧁 (@sprinkleskei) March 29, 2023
“We’ve been fighting for a grocery store rebate.”
Shouldn’t you be fighting for BIGGER things than just a one time grocery store rebate?
We should be eliminating poverty with an income floor which we can easily afford.#cdnpoli
— Mike Gibbs (@Mikeggibbs) March 28, 2023
Many have pointed out that the grocery rebate is just a “rebranding” of the GST credit.
“This isn’t new, it’s just a re-painted band-aid response to legislated poverty,” tweeted one person. “It’s not fooling anyone.”
Reminder: this “new” Grocery Rebate is the exact same amount as the GST rebate was increased by last year.
It is a rebranding of that increase, made into a one time payment.
This isn’t new, it’s just a re-painted band-aid response to legislated poverty.
It’s not fooling anyone
— Sarah Colero (@Sarah_Colero) March 28, 2023
“Grocery rebate is a cute name for amplified GST credits,” added Agri-Foods professor Sylvain Charlebois.
Grocery rebate: This is what happens when you politicize food inflation. Cheques are real while impactful fiscal changes are not. Grocery rebate is a cute name for amplified GST credits.
— The Food Professor (@FoodProfessor) March 27, 2023
And others have gone as far as to compare the rebate to food stamps.
‘Grocery rebate’ is intentional political word-play, in an attempt to try and avoid the harmful optics towards the use of ‘food stamps’.
— Kris Eriksen 🇨🇦 (@KEriksenV2) March 29, 2023
Canada is now on the verge of food stamps which these tax rebates really are, how are they going to fund mortgage insolvencies?
Grocery rebate doesn’t go far enough to fight inflation: food policy expert https://t.co/5H6EuRIRqb #cdnpoli
— Rex Glacer (@rexglacer) March 28, 2023
What do you think of the proposed grocery rebate? Let us know in the comments.