Unrelated to the earlier piece on how prices in the Maritimes will soon rise (that's a brewery-set thing) was the news that taxes on liquor on PEI will also be going up soon as well. Now, in the new budget which came out last month, all that was said was "tax increases would bring prices in line with the rest of the region." That got me to wondering how far off we were, if at all.
Now, by "region", I must assume that "region" means New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, since they are our closest two provinces - the other two thirds of our Maritime musketeers. So... to figure out how we compare, let's take a few samples of beer products we all share... and make a chart!
So, what's it all mean? Well, in this small sample of foreign and domestic beers of varying quantities, PEI already has the most expensive price in three of the five. With the other two, we're right in the middle. Hmm. Wouldn't one think that... to increase prices here to match those of our region... that we should have the lowest prices around? Apparently, we're not the Bargain Harold's of liquor that our government would have you believe we are. Should our taxes / prices rise? I say nay nay.
Now... this is only a small sample, and I have only looked at beer, and not wine or spirits. I would wager, though, that if I did a similar comparison in those categories I would find similar relationships. That's just a guess, though.
The next time you see the budget mentioned, or that prices will be put "in line with the rest of the region", don't just ignore it. Leave a comment on the article, send an email, ask a question or two. It just doesn't seem to add up.