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Highlights of Tuesday’s federal budget

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, tabled the new government’s first federal budget Tuesday, dubbed “Growing the Middle Class” and promising to revitalize the economy.

The Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced it will not be able to balance the books by 2019 as promised, but will more forward with billions of dollars invested in benefits, infrastructure and people – and about a $30 billion deficit.

The Bay of Quinte’s new MP Neil Ellis will be looking to help divert some of funding to his riding, including some of the $5.6 billion over the next six years toward veterans’ needs. Ellis is the chair of the standing committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

The 2016 budget highlights include:
-$11.9 billion over five years for infrastructure systems, including transit and water
– $23 billion in 2016-17 for new Canada Child Benefit giving families up to $6,400 pr child under six and up to $5,400 per child aged six through 17.
– $8.4 billion over five years for indigenous communities and people (one quarter on schools on reserves) and $40 million over two years for the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women
– $5.6 billion over six years for veterans
– $3.4 billion over five years to increase the guaranteed income supplement top-up benefit by up to $947 annually for single seniors, and restore the old age security eligibility age to 65 from 67.
– $2 billion over three years for a post-secondary investment fund
– $1.9 billion over five years to support Canadian arts and culture organizations and cultural infrastructure, including the CBC and national museums.
– $1.5 billion over five years to increase student grants to $3,000 from $2,000 for low-income students
– $38.5 million over two years to strengthen and modernize Canada’s food safety system.
– Elimination of income tax splitting for couples with children, as well as children’s fitness and arts credits
– Reduce the time out-of-work Canadians wait for Employment Insurance and an extension of benefits in hard-hit areas.
– Study affordable housing and offer initiatives for developers and municipalities to build

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