The budget projects 2.0 per cent growth in program spending, reflecting what the Liberal government says is "strict discipline" while adopting a "long-lasting, real culture of expenditure control, said Michelle Courchesne, President of the Treasury Board.

Quebec’s spending priorities for 2012-2013:

  • Health and social services: $30,120.8 million (48.1 per cent of overall budget, 3.4 increase from last year.)
  • Education: $15,975.5 million (25.5 per cent of overall budget, 2.2 per cent increase from last year). Education spending priorities include high school drop-out programs, intensive English instruction for Gr. 6, and sports programs.
  • Family, senior services: $2,450.6 million (3.9 per cent of overall budget).
  • $195 million for old age measures include:
  • Increased tax credit for working seniors 65 and over.
  • Increased informal caregiver tax credit.
  • Review of tax credit for home equipment (such as specialized monitoring tools, services, GPS, tracking services, that currently don’t qualify for the credit).
  • Funding for 12 new "Maison des grandparents", community centres that will foster intergenerational contact.
  • Other programs: $14,095.1 million (22.5 per cent of overall budget).

Old age tax credits questioned

Nancy Neamtan works with the Chantier de l'économie sociale, a community group that advocates for seniors.

She questions the new old age tax credits, given the target audience.

"An elderly person is faced with asking 'how does this tax credit really work? When am I going to get the money back? Do I need an accountant to get this together?' That's the first problem."

Another issue with old age tax credits, Neamtan said, is "finding the services."

"If I have a tax credit for a service, where do I find it? How are we going to protect people to find quality services?"

Other spending programs

  • $375 million for Montreal, to finance celebrations for the city’s 375 anniversary (in 2017).
  • Money earmarked for the Biodome, St-Lawrence boardwalk, and a new wing at the Museum of Modern Art.
  • $5 million to promote Made-in-Quebec food products, to support marketing efforts.