Federal budget highlights
Key points from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's 2012 federal budget, tabled in the House of Commons Thursday.
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has delivered a deficit-cutting budget in the House of Commons. Here is a look at some of its key details and measures:
- Savings of $5.2 billion a year by 2015.
- 19,200 federal public sector jobs cut over three years.
- Return to surplus by 2015 (an election year). 2012-13 deficit at $21.1 billion.
- Penny to be discontinued this fall (it still holds value for spending).
- Age of eligibility for Old Age Security rises gradually to 67 from 65 starting in 2023 — but does not affect anyone 54 or older as of March 31, 2012.
- One review for major resource development projects, capped at 24 months, including current projects like the Northern Gateway pipeline.
- Governor General to pay income taxes as of 2013 — but he'll get a raise.
- No significant tax changes for individuals.
- Duty-free cross-border shopping limits rise this summer to $200 for 24-hour trips and $800 for trips of 48 hours or more.
- Canada will continue with International Space Station mission to 2020.
- Government to clear backlog in federal skilled worker program by removing some applicants and refunding their fees. They can reapply under new criteria.
- Public servants to pay more into pensions under a 50/50 formula.
- Retirement age for federal public servants rises to 65 from 60 for people hired in 2013.
- A First Nations education act and $275 million to build and renovate schools on reserve, and renewal of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy.
- CBC funding cut by 10 per cent over three years, with annual $60-million programming top-up rolled into base funding.
- Canadian Forces regular force strength remains at 68,000. Reserves stay at 27,000.
- Canada to review participation in some international organizations.
- Katimavik program for youth will be eliminated.
- Government will sell some official residences abroad and downsize others.
- Atlantic investment tax credit phased out.