In Prince Edward Island, consumer prices increased 3.0% in the 12 months to December 2013, following a 2.6% rise in November. Of all the provinces, Prince Edward Island recorded the largest year-over-year increase in gasoline prices (+8.5%) and in homeowner's replacement cost (+9.5%).
©Statistics Canada table
Money didn’t go as far in P.E.I. last year thanks to a three per cent increase in the consumer price index.
That’s the biggest percentage change of all the provinces and territories, due in part to a jump in gasoline prices, according to Statistics Canada.
Finance Minister Wes Sheridan said HST has contributed to the increase, but only for one year as businesses adjust to the new tax.
“You will see that disappear in the next year,” he said.
The consumer price index (CPI) is determined by comparing the cost of different goods over a period of time.
Sheridan said the increase is a sign the province is doing OK and the other provinces with higher inflation rates are the ones that have economies that are doing well, such as Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta.
“These are all doing well and it is a reflection of that as well,” he said.
While the overall CPI changed by three per cent, gasoline prices increased by 8.5 per cent, which was the highest increase in the country, followed by Manitoba and British Columbia.
Sheridan said the increase in gas prices wasn’t just because of the HST.
“Everybody’s gas price is up,” he said.
While he said HST contributed to the CPI increase in P.E.I., other provinces saw increases as well without raising taxes.
“I expect we’ll be bang on with our neighbours in the next fiscal (year),” he said.
Opposition Leader Steven Myers said it wasn’t surprising to see the CPI increase because of the HST.
“That’s probably part of the cause,” he said.
Myers said he didn’t think there were many Islanders who would be surprised to hear things costs more.
“Items in Prince Edward Island have become very expensive.”
With gas prices higher, Myers said it’s not surprising either and Islanders can see the HST amount on their receipt every time they go to the pumps.
“That’s a major burden on the taxpayers of Prince Edward Island,” he said.