2016 federal budget leaves young families, millennials out in the cold, say critics
For young middle-class families, the pain is the same.
“If somehow, it could be more affordable, I’m all for it,” said Jordan Tanner, a young father of two small children.
Tanner said he and families he knows are feeling the squeeze.
“It’s very unattainable for most families unless you’re two working doctors or two lawyers,” he said.
Adri Hamael said the housing and affordability challenges facing families in Metro Vancouver is all he and his friends talk about, adding this week’s federal budget has done little to improve their situation.
“Under the Harper government we got the child universal benefit, under Trudeau’s government we have a tax break. So, in my opinion, it’s the same thing,” said Hamael.
With the new Canada Child benefit, most families will see a boost in payments. However, critics say a closer look at the budget paints a less rosy picture for young middle-class families and millennials.
WATCH: New federal budget impact on families
“You can’t describe this as some monumental change for younger Canada,” said UBC professor and Generation Squeeze founder Paul Kershaw.
Breaking down the budget, Kershaw said the Liberals will now spend over $21,000 per year on every Canadian 65 and over, over $7,300 per person age 64-45 and $4,550 for anyone under 45.
“The biggest investments the prime minister will make in his first mandate is not in families with young kids, but into old age security and into health care,” said Kershaw. “Not only does the prime minister inherit a budget that spends five times more per retiree than it does per person under 45, he’s also going to grow the age gap in spending.”
Spending on students in this budget is minimal and much needed money for child care isn’t coming as quickly as it should, adds Kershaw.
“The big picture of the 2016 budget is continuing to grow spending for an older demographic — people who are important, my mom and my grandmother — and they’re doing that with far more urgency at the federal level than they are adapting for younger Canadians,” he said.
Kershaw points out it is still early days for this new government, but Chris Hyndman, a stay-at-home dad in Vancouver, said he’ll be looking for more action and less talk in budgets to come.
“Five hundred thousand dollars for daycare next year, that doesn’t do anything for me now or in July or this year at all so it’s just talk for now.”
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