Media Releases

MEI-Ipsos poll: A majority of Canadians think Ottawa spends too much

  • Two in three Canadians think the amount they pay in income taxes is too high.
  • Fewer than one in four Canadians believe the federal government spends on the right priorities.
  • Two in three Canadians recognize that increased government spending contributed to inflation.

Montreal, July 20, 2023 – A majority of Canadians think they are excessively taxed, by a federal government that spends too much and spends unwisely, according to an MEI-Ipsos poll released this morning.

“Not only do Canadians find that the Trudeau government spends too much, but they also find that it spends unwisely,” explains Renaud Brossard, senior director of communications at the MEI. “This seems to indicate a disconnect between the Department of Finance and the people whose money is entrusted in its care.”

According to the poll, 55 per cent of Canadians think the federal government’s spending is too high. This perception is particularly strong among Quebecers, 64 per cent of whom consider federal spending too high.

Moreover, 65 per cent of Canadians recognize that the growth in government spending over the past three years has contributed to higher inflation levels.

When it comes to allocating funds, fewer than one in four Canadians believe that the federal government is effectively directing their tax money toward the most important issues facing the country today.

As income tax levels, two in three respondents say their tax burden is too high.

“The message Canadians are sending Ottawa is unequivocal,” says Mr. Brossard. “They are asking Ottawa to cut its spending, review its priorities, and reduce their tax burden.”

Other highlights:

  • Six in 10 Canadians are dissatisfied with the accountability and transparency of the federal government’s spending.
  • Canadians are more likely to be against carbon pricing (45 per cent) than for it (41 per cent). The Atlantic provinces are most strongly opposed (68 per cent).
  • Seven in 10 Canadians recognize that higher corporate taxes lead to higher prices for consumers.

The poll was conducted among a representative sample of 1,020 Canadians aged 18 years and over, between June 29 and July 3, 2023. The results are accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

You can consult the results of the MEI-Ipsos poll here.

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank with offices in Montreal and Calgary. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship. 

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Interview requests
Renaud Brossard
Senior Director, Communications
Cell: 514 743-2883

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