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Federal budget 2017 highlights

Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered a federal budget thin of new spending but affecting those who smoke, drink, take transit, care for loved ones or are trying to have a baby.

He tabled the Liberal’s second federal budget in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The budget projects a $28.5 billion deficit this year, expected to fall to $18.8 billion by 2021-22. Morneau said the government ended this fiscal year with a 21.8 billion deficit rather than the $25.1 billion projected last fall.

New spending amounts to about $1.3 billion of the $304.7 billion budget total with investment in training, housing, infrastructure and health care. Some initiatives draw on previously announced allocations such as the planned $20 billion in social infrastructure spending.

“Budget 2017 addresses the most crucial issues facing our communities and therefore, the most critical needs of our citizens,” said Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis. “It emphasizes an array of channels that help our most vulnerable members to be better supported, and our most vital industries or international partnerships to grow stronger.”

Every day noticables include:
-elimination of the 71-year-old Canada Savings Bond program
-two per cent hike on alcohol (starts Thursday)
-changed rules for ride-sharing businesses (like Uber) making them subject to same taxes as traditional taxis.
-new taxes on tobacco products excise duty rate to $21.56 from $21.03
-elimination of public transit tax credit
-$691 million over five years for a new EI caregiving benefit allowing Canadians to take up to 15 weeks to care for an ill or aging relative. Three tax credits are now combined to form the Canada Caregiver Credit tax relief toward expenses linked to care of a relative.
-expanded eligibility for tax credits for fertility treatments and spreading out parental leave to 18 months, from 12 months but with reduced payments.
-Nurses may now provide approval to apply to the government for the disability tax credit. Previously you needed a doctor’s approval.

Some highlights:
– 11.2 billion over 10 years earmarked toward social housing, critical housing, new construction, renovations (also to help seniors, veterans, those fleeing domestic violence and those with disabilities and mental illness) and support for Indigenous Canadians off-reserve.

-Money for skills, innovation and jobs comes to $594 million, rising to $1.4 billion by 2021-22.

-$7 billion plan to create 40,000 more affordable child care spaces over 10 years.

– $3.5 billion for education and skills training, including expanded loan and grant eligibility

– $3 billion supporting innovation over the next five years targeting manufacturing, clean technology, agri-food, digital industries, health and bio sciences.

– $400 million over three years for venture capital initiatives

-$395 million for youth employment strategies over three years

Filed Under: Local News

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