How Quebec's 2019 budget will affect your wallet

You’ll save more on child care, but not on green-friendly renovations. Here’s what the 2019 budget means for you.

Daycare and eyeglasses will cost less, but some home renovations will cost more

Quebec unveilled its 2019-20 budget on Thursday, March 21, 2019. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

The Coalition Avenir Québec government is promising to "put money back in the pockets of Quebecers" with its 2019 budget.

What does that mean for you?

No more sliding-scale daycare fees

Making good on a major election promise, the CAQ government says it will spend $1 billion over five years to roll out pre-kindergarten classes for four-year-olds. The classes will be free but not mandatory.

The government says as of September 2019, there will be 250 classes available across the province. It hopes the new classes will relieve some of the strain on the daycare system.

Making good on a major election promise, the CAQ says it will invest $1 billion over five years in rolling out kindergarten classes for four-year-olds. The classes will be free but not mandatory. (Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images)

Speaking of daycare: the government is taking further steps to eliminate the sliding-scale fee system introduced by the previous Liberal government.

The rates were frozen in December's mini-budget. Now, as of 2022, the scale will be eliminated altogether, saving some families an average of about $1,200 per year.

This year, families with an income below $78,320 will not have to pay the additional contribution, and families with an income above that will save 70 cents per day.

You'll be paying less in school taxes

As of July, the government will take the first steps toward harmonizing school-tax rates across the province. The goal is to have a single rate by July 2021.

By then, homeowners across the province will be paying a tax rate that equals the lowest effective rate in the province from 2018-2019.

That means in 2021, the owner of a home valued at $270,000 in Montreal will save $179 a year, while an owner of a home of the same value in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean will save $500.

In order to compensate for the lost revenue, the government plans on transferring $200 million to school boards this year.

Goodbye RénoVert

There is no mention in the budget of the RénoVert tax credit, which was given to homeowners doing renovations that boosted energy efficiency.

The popular RénoVert credit will not be renewed this year.

The government will instead maintain other tax credits that are similar to that program, including the Rénoclimat, Novoclimat and Éconologis programs provided through Transition énergétique Québec, the provincial agency responsible for supporting and promoting the energy efficiency and innovation.

Hello glasses for your kids

The government says one way it wants to reduce the school dropout rate is by helping parents pay for eyeglasses or contact lenses for their children, aged 17 and under.

Starting in September, up to $250 will be reimbursed to cover the cost of eyewear every 24 months.

The government says one way it wants to reduce the school dropout rate is by helping parents pay for eye glasses or contact lenses for their kids 17 and under. (The Associated Press)

Reimbursements will be done through the provincial health insurance plan.

Incentive to extend your career

Faced with a tight labour market, the government is hoping to encourage Quebecers to continue working past the age of 60.

A tax credit for those 61 and older already exists, but it was calculated based on a maximum amount of eligible work income, which was capped at $5,000.

As of next tax season, the government will raise the maximum amount to $10,000 and lower the age of those eligible to 60.

Small- and medium-sized businesses will also receive a refundable tax credit to promote the retention, or hiring, of workers 60 and over.

About the Author

Sarah Leavitt


Sarah Leavitt is a journalist with CBC Montreal.


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