“No one should have to pay $2 or $3 to withdraw their own money from a bank machine – especially when it costs the banks around 36 cents,” said Thibeault, the NDP’s Consumer Affairs Critic, in a release Monday.
“Canadians’ budgets are stretched to the breaking point and New Democrats are proposing real solutions.”
The NDP proposal would cap ATM withdrawal fees at 50 cents per transaction. However, the governing Progressive Conservatives have not said whether they support the bill, which is crucial to getting it passed in the House of Commons.
Thibeault has also been campaigning against the swipe fees credit card companies charge small business and tried – unsuccessfully – to get the governing Conservatives to pass legislation to protect business from the fees.
At a news conference in Novebmber, Thibeault said the money the fees take out of places such as Sudbury means small- and medium-sized businesses have that much less to invest, to hire and to support local causes.
"As a guy who ran a charity in this town, who actually gives to our local causes? It's our small- and medium-sized business owners,” Thibeault said. “We're asking customers, if they care about their local, independent businesses, to consider, on Fridays, pulling out their Interac debit card or paying with cash.”
The credit card industry collects between $5 billion and $7 billion a year through the cards, the biggest single source of income, exceeding even the interest paid on balances and the annual fees cardholders must pay.
"It's not insignificant,” Thibeault said. “I've got examples of some local businesses paying over $20,000 a year just to be able to accept credit cards.”