Still Reeling from the Election Results
October 21, 2015 | Posted by: Cam Brown
Still reeling from the election results?
Here in PC country we will soon learn what a Liberal majority will mean for us:
Throughout the 78-day campaign, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has repeatedly pledged help for Canada’s middle class. Here’s what he’s promised to do as Prime Minister of Canada as it relates to household balance sheets.
Cut the annual Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contribution limit from $10,000 back to $5,500 one of Trudeau’s least popular campaign promises (an Angus Reid survey recently found that 67% of Canadians aren’t in favour of any political party reversing the increase), the roll back could cost savers tens of thousands of dollars over the long term.
Raise income taxes on the top 1% of earners, trim it for everyone else. Trudeau’s platform was anchored by his promise to cut the middle income tax bracket from 22% to 20.5% for Canadians earning between $44,700 and $89,401 a year, amounting to savings of $670 a year (or $1,340 for a two-income household). He’s also promised to create a new tax bracket of 33% for those earning $200,000 a year or more.
Reduce payroll taxes. Employment Insurance (EI) premiums are expected to fall to $1.65 per $100 under a Liberal majority government
Give a little here, take a little there, from young families. Trudeau has vowed to cancel the up to $2,000 annual benefit to couples with kids under the age of 18. He also said he would ditch the Universal Child Care Benefit for Canada’s wealthiest families and instead introduce the Canada Child Benefit that will give the majority of families up to $2,500 more, tax-free, every year (typically for a family of four).
Protect the home-ownership dream. Trudeau’s plan includes a new, 10-year investment in social housing, prioritizing affordable housing and seniors’ facilities (including building more units and refurbishing existing units) as well as removing all GST for developers of new affordable rental housing projects. The Liberals also said they would loosen the existing qualification rules for the Home Buyers’ Plan, allowing more Canadians affected by sudden and significant life changes (such as divorce) to access their RRSP savings for a down payment on a second home. Trudeau also pledged to review escalating home prices in high-priced markets, including Toronto and Vancouver, as well as all policy tools that could keep home-ownership within reach for more Canadians
Reform the CRA. Among Trudeau’s plans for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is a vague promise to have the agency contact people who have tax benefits but aren’t collecting them.
Restore the traditional retirement age. The Liberals have vowed to restore the Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) eligibility ages back to 65. Additionally, Trudeau has promised to leave pension income splitting intact for seniors as well as introduce a new seniors price index to ensure benefits keep up with rising living costs and a 10% boost to the GIS for single, low-income seniors.
Grants and grace periods for students and young professionals. Trudeau made headlines when he said he would eliminate the need for graduates to repay their student loans until they are earning at least $25,000 per year. He also pledged to increase the maximum Canada Student Grant to $3,000 per year for full-time students and to $1,800 per year for part-time