François Legault Promised To 'Put Money Back In Your Wallets' To Help With Inflation

The Quebec Liberal party, meanwhile, is calling for a sales tax suspension on some items.

Senior Editor
Premier François Legault standing among other MNAs in the Quebec National Assembly chamber.

Premier François Legault standing among other MNAs in the Quebec National Assembly chamber.

Amid rising costs of gas and food and criticism for a lack of commitments to address the situation, Premier François Legault on Tuesday promised to "put money back in your wallets" with the next provincial budget, which his government is presenting on March 22.

"I know that inflation is worrying you a lot," he said in a video posted to social media. "But I want to reassure you, there's a budget coming in one week [...] and we're going to help you."

The premier didn't offer additional details on what that aid will look like but did commit to preventing Hydro-Québec electricity rates from increasing by "4 or 5%" in 2023 to keep up with inflation.

On Monday, three groups — the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Option consommateurs, and the Association québécoise des consommateurs industriels d'électricité (AQCIE) — called for a freeze on Hydro-Québec prices in 2023 ahead of what they expected would be over 5% inflation in the year ahead.

A corresponding increase in hydro rates, the groups said, "will be particularly burdensome for low-income households who often live in poorly insulated homes and have few means to reduce their energy consumption."

Taking aim at what she perceived as the Legault government's inaction, Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) leader Dominique Anglade also called for an electricity rate freeze and a partial suspension of the sales tax on hydro payments on Sunday. She also suggested a sales tax suspension on basic necessities such as toothbrushes and soap.

"We will not let electricity rates increase by 4% or 5%," Legault said to his social media following Tuesday.

If hydro prices are projected to jump that high in 2023, he continued, "We will find a way to compensate you."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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