Liberal Government Tables Pre-Election Budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has tabled his fourth federal budget — his final one before the next election in October. Here are the highlights:

By the numbers:

  • $22.8 billion in new spending over the next five years.
  • 2018-19 deficit projection: $14.9 billion, down slightly from the fall.
  • 2019-20 deficit projection: $19.8 billion, with $3 billion risk adjustment.
  • Debt: $685.6 billion, projected to rise to $761.7B by 2023-24.
  • Debt-to-GDP ratio: Projected to be 30.8 per cent, falling to 28.6 per cent by 2023-24.

Spending highlights:

  • $1.25 billion over 3 years on a shared-equity mortgage program for first-time home buyers.
  • RRSP withdrawal limit for first-time home buyers rises to $35,000 from $25,000.
  • $3.25 billion to Indigenous Services for water quality, child welfare, education and other supports.
  • $2.2 billion for one-time doubling of Gas Tax cash for cities’ infrastructure spending.
  • $1.2 billion over 5 years for border security and modernization, and for the asylum system.
  • Personalized Canada Training Credit of $250 a year (up to $5,000 lifetime) for job retraining.

Other key measures:

  • A credit of up to $5,000 for purchases of electric vehicles.
  • Interest rate on Canada Student Loans lowered to prime and will be interest-free for 6 months after graduation.
  • Creation of a Canadian Drug Agency for bulk-buying of drugs and a national strategy on high-cost drugs.
  • Airport security screening agency CATSA to become an arm’s-length agency, with additional funding of $597 million over 2 years.
  • Low-income working seniors can earn more without giving up GIS benefits.
  • $595 million to support journalism will include 15% tax credit for digital news subscriptions.
  • Promise of high-speed internet for all Canadians by 2030.

Image source:  (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press) https://www.cbc.ca/news/

Posted in News & Sports, Steve Boyton, Whats Happening Tagged with: , , , , , ,

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