CAQ announces tax credits for families and seniors
Published Monday, December 3, 2018 1:39PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2018 7:17PM EST
The CAQ delivered its first mini-budget Monday, outlining relief for Quebec families and seniors, as well as support for businesses.
The move was called a ‘first step’ by Premier Francois Legault to fulfilling a campaign promise to put money back into Quebecer’s wallets.
Finance Minister Eric Girard is forecasting a $1.7-billion budget for 2018-2019 fiscal year, on Monday announcing $800 million in budgetary measures targeted to specific groups.
The family allowance will increase by up to $500 for those with two children and up to $1,000 for those with three children. That is on a sliding scale so that families with incomes higher than $108,000 per year would get nothing.
Girard said the government would also eliminate the sliding scale for daycare fees and bring it back to $8.05 per day per child, no matter family income, shortly. Parents currently pay up to $14 per day on top of the base fee, depending on their income.
The CAQ will also introduce a tax credit for low-income seniors age 70 and older: $200 per year for a senior receiving less than $22,000.
"This is an update of the Quebec economy and the financial position, and we're taking some measures immediately, the most important are the family allowance, the accelerated depreciation, and the increase for low-income seniors," said Girard.
“First, it cost $123 million, so it’s not peanuts,” said Legault. “Also, it’s retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018, which means that for 2019, they’ll get $400 per person or $800 for two people. I think it may look small, but for some people, it’s important.”
Girard said he did not want to spend more money because of fears an upcoming interest rate hike would slow the economy.
Quebec expects to have a $4.6 billion budgetary surplus at the end of the fiscal year, and $3 billion will be dedicated to the Generations fund -- the long-term fund used to pay down the province's substantial debt.
The Liberals reacted to the mini-budget by claiming the CAQ already is failing to deliver on its campaign promises. The Liberals say the CAQ inherited a substantial surplus thanks to the previous government's belt-tightening – money the liberals planned to re-invest in services such as education.
“There is absolutely nothing on new investment in public services, and we know from experience, especially in education, it is now, in November and December, that you have to announce new measures for them to come into effect in the next school year,” said Liberal finance critic Carlos Leitao. “By March it will be too late.”
A full budget is planned for spring.