5 big announcements from the P.E.I. budget

With $107 million in new spending in the P.E.I. provincial budget, there are few areas of government that did not see a boost in the new fiscal year.

4 areas of new spending and a tax cut

There will be more teachers in P.E.I. classrooms, as well as additional supports for those teachers. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

With $107 million in new spending in the P.E.I. provincial budget, there are few areas of government that did not see a boost in the new fiscal year.

Here are some of the larger projects the government announced.

Affordable housing

Finance Minister Heath MacDonald promised a $17 million investment in affordable housing over the next two years.

That will include new units, renovations to existing units and rent supports.

More affordable housing units are on the way, with RFPs already issued for Charlottetown and Summerside. (Laura Meader/CBC)

MacDonald said the government was aiming for 1,000 new units over the next four years, including 300 this year. He noted the government had already issued RFPs for units in Summerside and Charlottetown.

Small business tax cut

The small business tax rate will drop 0.5 per cent in this fiscal year. MacDonald said this initiative will save businesses up to $2,500 a year.

In addition, the government is introducing a 15 per cent rebate on investments owners make to improve business.

MacDonald said the government introduced the rebate, rather than lowering the tax rate further, to maximize business investment, rather than savings for business shareholders.

More teachers

An additional $17 million in the education and early learning budget is going to bring more teachers to the classroom, additional classroom supports and more childcare spaces.

  • 19 new classroom teachers.
  • 25 frontline positions, including EAL and education assistant positions.
  • 32 education assistant positions.
  • 200 new childcare spaces.

The new childcare spaces are in addition to 200 already announced by the federal government.

Childcare workers will see a 2 per cent pay increase, and funding for childcare subsidies will also go up.

Funding for autism services in classrooms is up $600,000.

Island Advantage for post-secondary students

The budget introduces Island Advantage, which will provide support for post-secondary students on top of the George Coles Bursary.

  • $3,600 for first UPEI or Maritime Christian College degree.
  • $1,200 for first diploma at Holland College or College de l'Ile.
There is more help for post-secondary students in the budget. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

The debt reduction grant, available to graduates living on P.E.I. within three years of graduation, will increase from $2,000 per year of study to $3,500.

Tax rebate on electricity

The government will rebate the provincial portion of the HST on the first block of residential electricity.

Home heating with wood will be a little cheaper for Islanders next year. (Radio-Canada)

In addition, the government will also rebate the provincial portion of the HST on firewood, wood pellets, and propane used for home heating.

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Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. Kevin has a specialty in data journalism, and how statistics relate to the changing lives of Islanders. He has a BSc and a BA from Dalhousie University, and studied journalism at Holland College in Charlottetown. You can reach him at