Federal budget 2023: How it impacts you

The federal government released its spring budget on Tuesday, putting a clean economy at the center and detailing targeted measures to help Canadians cope with still-high inflation.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland put forward a 255-page budget on Tuesday, suggesting for weeks that it will try to balance fiscal restraint with spending aimed at vulnerable Canadians. . analyzed the document to identify items that, if passed by Congress, would have the greatest impact on small businesses, families, students and seniors in Canada.

Are you struggling with the cost of living?

Inflation fell for the second month in a row, falling from 5.9% in January to 5.2% in February after hitting a 40-year high last summer, but food prices remain high and the recent Nanos Research polls show the economy and inflation continue to top the list. A concern for Canadians. Liberals have proposed several key items to help Canadians with their cost of living.

  • The federal government is proposing a new one-time “grocery refund” after grocery costs in stores rose 10.6% year-on-year last month, according to Statistics Canada. About 11 million low- and middle-income Canadians will be eligible for rebates offered through the GST tax credit scheme, according to the budget. Eligible couples with two children can receive up to $467, seniors $225, and singles $234.
  • The increase in excise duty on alcohol products is limited to 2% for one year from 1 April. The increase, expected to be more than 6%, was widely criticized by small brewers, distillers and the federal opposition. .
  • The federal government plans to crack down on predatory loans, amend criminal law, and limit the amount of interest legally chargeable to 35%. According to the budget, this is to prevent “predatory lenders” from taking advantage of “some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
  • The budget also proposes changes to give Canadians access to certain benefits, such as increasing the number of people eligible to automatically file income tax returns. According to the federal government, this means that many low-income Canadians who do not currently file tax returns will be able to access “qualified benefits and assistance, such as the Canadian Child Benefit and Guaranteed Income Subsidy.” Helpful.

Are you a student?

The 2023 budget proposes increased financial aid for post-secondary students and measures to help them pay off their debt. This is to “facilitate the transition from school to adult life”. It means that students need support to get an education. “

Some of the additional measures implemented by the federal government to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic are due to expire at the end of July, so the new measures in the 2023 Budget will take effect in early August .

  • Budget details plan to increase Canadian student grants by 40%. This can mean up to $4,200 for full-time students.
  • Increase Canadian student loan limits from $210 to $300 weekly.
  • It also exempts mature students who are classified as 22 or older from having to take a credit check to qualify for a grant or loan for the first time.

Are you planning to travel next year?

Significant travel delays and cancellations both during the summer and the 2022 winter holiday season have left many Canadians frustrated, prompting the Canadian Air Transport Security Administration (CATSA) to file complaints from travelers. We had a lot of complaints. Meanwhile, the federal government, which largely blames the COVID-19 pandemic on its feet, has vowed to strengthen air passenger rights and improve the travel experience in Canada.

  • The budget proposes $1.8 billion to CATSA over five years to “maintain and improve service levels, improve screening wait times, and enhance security measures at airports.”
  • However, as part of the bill is borne by the traveler, you can expect to pay a higher air traveler security charge. Round-trip domestic air passengers will rise from $14.96 to $19.87, and international fares will rise from $25.91 to $34.42.
  • The budget also proposes changes to the Transport Canada Act for data sharing initiatives to reduce delays and improve coordination among industry stakeholders.

Looking to find easier access to healthcare?

One of the largest categories of spending in the Spring Budget is health care, which includes details of previously announced funding agreements between the federal government and the states and territories, as well as plans to expand dental care programs. contained. The latter is a central part of the fiduciary and supply arrangement between the Liberal Party and the NDP, with the NDP seen as supporting the Liberal Party in exchange for certain policy advances.

  • The budget has been allocated $46.2 billion more than previously allocated for health care as part of contracts with states and territories in exchange for improved patient care and access.
  • The budget also presents plans to expand the Canadian Dental Benefit, which currently covers dental care for children under the age of 12, and sets $13 billion over five years to create a federal dental care plan. The plan is to provide dental insurance to uninsured Canadians with a household income of less than $90,000 by the end of this year.
  • The document also proposes the establishment of an Oral Health Access Fund to address “oral health gaps among vulnerable populations” and extend coverage to those living in rural and remote communities.
  • The federal government is investing $158.4 million over three years to set up a suicide prevention hotline, effective at the end of November, to provide support for mental health crises.
  • The government also promises to amend the Canadian Labor Code to provide paid leave to federally regulated workers who experience pregnancy loss. It also applies to parents, Budget says.
  • Worth noting: The budget does not include the cost of medicines that are part of a trust and supply agreement with the NDP. committed to submit a legal framework for

Are you a small business owner?

In response to an increase in Canadians using credit cards while shopping, the Liberal Party on a budget touts plans to help small business owners by working with certain credit card companies to lower transaction fees. doing.

  • Visa and MasterCard have pledged to lower fees for small businesses while “protecting Rewards points.” This means that over 90% of businesses that accept credit cards offer up to 27% lower fees.
  • Dealing with Visa and MasterCard also means some small businesses have free access to online fraud and cybersecurity resources.

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