REGINA - In view of the increased and record first quarter earnings of Saskatchewan’s two largest Potash companies, Official Opposition Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon called on the government to immediately implement a windfall profit resource surcharge to deliver a cost-of-living dividend to address the affordability crisis.
“The Sask. Party is raising taxes and hiking utility fees at a time when more people are living paycheck to paycheck,” said Wotherspoon. “Saskatchewan people need a government that will make life easier and more affordable, not one that doesn't care enough to offer financial relief during a cost-of-living crisis.”
First quarter performance reports from Saskatchewan’s two largest potash companiesreveal increased and record earnings despite reduction in volumes sold. A report released by the World Bank last week indicates that this trend of windfall profits will likely continue as commodity prices are expected to remain high until 2024 as a result of the war in Ukraine.
“The unforgivable invasion of Ukraine has sent already strong profits in our resource sector soaring. Meanwhile, the people of Saskatchewan are struggling to keep up with the rising cost-of-living,” said Wotherspoon. “These resources belong to the people of Saskatchewan, and they deserve to share in these windfall profits. Our critically important energy and potash sectors can help in the economic recovery for all Saskatchewan people with a modest increase to the provincial resource surcharge on windfall profits. The wellbeing of Saskatchewan people and the future prosperity of our province depend on it.”
The Official Opposition calls on the government to add a 1 percent windfall profits surcharge when oil and potash prices exceed a windfall profits threshold. This small increase could add $250 million to provincial coffers this fiscal year for government to:
- Scrap the PST increase in the 2022-23 budget
- Immediately provide a $125 million cost-of-living rebate for Saskatchewan households
- Urgently invest in our health system and fund energy efficiency building retrofits