What the 2015 federal budget means for Canadian families
WATCH: What the 2015 federal budget means for Canadian families.
Scroll down for the infographic breakdown of the benefits for families announced Tuesday.
OTTAWA — There is an unmistakable consumer-friendly angle to this budget, which the Conservatives have been slowly disclosing over the past six months.
Commitments unveiled throughout that period, including boosting the Universal Childcare Benefit, doubling a tax credit for youth fitness and income splitting, were all included in Tuesday’s budget.
Those measures are among a short list promised to Canadians in 2011, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper campaigned on them, promising to implement then so long as the government was able to balance its books.
The budget has the Conservatives coming through on their pledge to increase the Tax Free Savings Account ceiling to $10,000 from $5,500.
The promised fitness tax credit for adults, however, still isn’t on the books; the government has only committed to pulling together a panel to discuss the potential benefits of the tax measure.
Beefing up childcare benefits, claims
First announced last fall, the new budget puts into motion enhancements to the Universal Child Care Benefit and Child Care Expense Deduction, moves aimed at reducing the financial burden on families with children. To wit, the UCCB is being increased to $160 a month for all children under 6, and $60/month for children between 6 and 17. The Child Care Expense Deduction is also being increased by $1,000.
The clock is ticking for an estimated 200,000 eligible families who have yet to register for the monthly UCCB cheque, with a May 1 deadline fast approaching.
Cost: $2.7 billion.
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A.k.a the Family Tax Cut, another tax-saving proposal first announced in the fall. Allows couples to shift up to $50,000 in income from a high earner to their lower-earning spouse. Tax savings from this measure max out at $2,000.
The move benefits only about 15 per cent of Canadian households, according to the government’s budget watchdog, the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Lower income households will get virtually no benefit, a report from the PBO said last month.
The report suggested the biggest gains will fall on about two million households, or 15 per cent, with the largest gains concentrated on medium-high to high-income households where one big income can be pared back to reduce that individual tax bill.
Cost: $2.2 billion annually, or the same as if Ottawa cut all federal taxes by 0.3 per cent across the board.
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